Stewart Hardacre and Shawn A-in-chut Atleo signing the collaboration agreement, set to increase First Nations’ involvement in Habitat projects and enhance opportunities for First Nations people, while adding to the housing stock


(OTTAWA, ON) December 6, 2011 –
Today, Habitat for Humanity Canada and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) join forces to improve housing in First Nations communities.

Together, Habitat for Humanity Canada and AFN will collaborate to increase First Nations’ involvement in Habitat projects and enhance opportunities for First Nations people to further their knowledge and skills applicable to all dimensions of housing, while adding to the housing stock.

Habitat for Humanity Canada’s president and CEO, Stewart Hardacre and First Nations National Chief, Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, will sign the official statement of partnership in Ottawa later today.

"I thank Habitat for Humanity Canada for inviting AFN to this partnership,” said Assembly of First Nations National Chief, Shawn A-in-chut Atleo. "This will enhance First Nations’ ability to explore new options to satisfy its housing needs. It sends a clear message to the Canadian public and Government of Canada that we are open to engaging with other partners to satisfy our needs and priorities. Creating safer and healthier First Nations’ communities is one of our biggest challenges as First Nations leaders. We hope that this will be the catalyst to spur on other organizations, corporations and individuals to get involved with First Nations.”

As part of the partnership, Habitat for Humanity Canada and AFN will establish a committee dedicated to overseeing and assessing the effectiveness of the work to be carried out under the new partnership agreement. The committee will be co-chaired by one representative of AFN and one representative of Habitat for Humanity Canada.

"Habitat for Humanity Canada and our affiliate partners are committed to working with the Assembly of First Nations to implement solutions that will address the housing needs of Canada’s First Nations population,” said Stewart Hardacre, President and CEO, Habitat for Humanity Canada. "Aboriginal Housing is a priority for HFHC over the next five years, so we look forward to partnering with AFN to affect change in more communities across Canada."

Habitat for Humanity Canada affiliates in Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario have built over 35 Habitat homes as part of Habitat’s Aboriginal Housing Program. Habitat for Humanity Canada’s commitment to Aboriginal Housing is long-standing and solidified by this partnership.

AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo is also a member of Habitat for Humanity Canada’s National Leadership Council, which launched on November 22nd, to help build partnerships with key aboriginal communities in core housing need, corporate and individual partners also. Through Habitat for Humanity’s ‘Build-Buy-Reinvest’ model, the organization will continue to partner with aboriginal communities across Canada to provide safe, decent and affordable housing to Canada’s First Nations’ people.

About Assembly of First Nations:
The Assembly of First Nation is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @NCAtleo, @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.

About Habitat for Humanity Canada:
Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, non-profit organization working towards a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. With the help of over 300,000 volunteers every year and 72 affiliate organizations from coast to coast, their mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to break the cycle of poverty.

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For more information please contact:
Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer(613) 292-0857, agaron@afn.ca
Jenna Young, AFN Communications Officer(613) 314-8157, jyoung@afn.ca
Kate Marshall, National Director Marketing & Communications, HFHC, (416) 294-3039, kmarshall@habitat.ca