In its design of the Indian Health Service’s Sioux San Hospital, Seven Generations A+E incorporated a skylight featuring the pattern of a Lakota star, oriented to the four directions. (Photo Courtesy Seven Generations A+E)
A U.S. Small Business Association 8(a) firm under the Mno-Bmadsen umbrella, Seven Generations Architecture + Engineering (A+E) has won nationwide contracts with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Indian Health Service.
Its growth — from $1 million in annual revenue in 2015 to close to $8 million in 2019 — is primarily fueled by the federal market, though the 8(a) and HUBZone-certified company has also won several statewide contracts in Michigan, with the General Services Administration and the Department of Veteran Affairs.
“We’ve had significant growth at Seven Generations A+E, so we’re looking to add talent there and expand geographically,” Julio Martinez, Mno-Bmadsen’s CFO, told Native Business of the company, launched in 2012.
The firm’s recent growth is significantly bolstered by its creative approach to healthcare design.
As the lead architect for Seven Generations A+E, Steven VandenBussche invites traditional spaces to exist inside Tribal health clinics. The result can radically enhance the visitor experience, and ultimately lead to healthier Native communities.
For instance, Seven Generations designed the Mille Lacs Band District 1 Health Clinic, a facility created to act as a “one stop shop” for members of the Mille Lacs Band Community. Treatments range from dental to radiology.
What sets it apart from your traditional health clinic? The project features a “500-foot curtain wall, two-stories tall, that looks over this large wetland area,” VandenBussche shared. In essence, the design invites the wilderness indoors. Seven Generations often relies on biophilic design — utilizing natural materials and embracing the natural elements.
The innovative firm was also contracted to design a 200,000-square-foot health clinic in the heart of the Sioux Nation in Rapid City, South Dakota. “We incorporated a skylight that had the pattern of a Lakota star, oriented to the four directions,” VandenBussche shared with Native Business.
For the Pokagon Health Services in Dowagiac, Michigan, Seven Generations A+E likewise incorporated spaces for traditional healing. “We built a space for a heating source, so they can burn sage, cedar and have traditional, ceremonial type healing experiences,” VandenBussche said.
Upon entering, visitors at the Pokagon facility are immediately greeted by Native art and music playing. “It’s relaxing,” Matt Clay Executive Director of Health Services for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians told Native Business. “Hundreds of visitors have said, ‘This is amazing; this is really inviting.’”
Pokagon Health Services serves more than 2,200 people, of whom roughly 75% are Pokagon citizens to 25% non-Pokagon citizens. The Pokagon Band counts 5,700 citizens, to offer perspective. “We have patients from as far away as Alaska, Oklahoma and Texas,” Clay shared. “Any Native American can come here.”
Clay hailed Seven Generations’ follow-through on its design and construction. “I’m a pretty big numbers guy. It was an economically sound expansion — both ahead of schedule and under budget,” he said.
“Seven Generations A+E is very customer-service focused, which is something that is lacking in today’s society,” Clay added. “It’s unparalleled. I’ve dealt with a lot of different A&E firms and contractors, and Seven Generations is there to help every step of the way.”