Indigenous Housing Partnership
Our Indigenous Housing Partnership connects Indigenous families and communities to help create safe and decent places to live through affordable homeownership. We also provide skills and training opportunities to Indigenous youth and women to equip them with trade skills they use to maintain and/or build new homes in their communities. With the help of local Habitats across Canada, we have helped 191 families access affordable homeownership through our Indigenous Housing Partnership, including 41 on First Nations, Métis Settlements, and Traditional Territories. By 2020, our goal is to partner with more than 300 Indigenous families and annually provide 200 Indigenous youth and women with skills training opportunities.
Read the 2018 annual report to find out more about last year's impact.
To see more of the 2017 impact of the Indigenous Housing Partnership, see our Annual Report.
To see impact from past year's, see the Indigenous Housing Partnership 2016 Impact Report.
Giving Indigenous families a ‘hand up’ through affordable homeownership
Indigenous peoples have a deep spiritual, physical, social and cultural connection to their land, and building homes within Indigenous communities must be undertaken with the support of the community.
To better address the specific challenges facing Indigenous families, Habitat Canada launched the Indigenous Housing Partneship in 2007 in partnership with Indigenous communities and with the support of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). In 2011, Habitat and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) signed an agreement with the ultimate goal of increasing First Nations’ involvement in Habitat projects.
Habitat Canada’s Indigenous Housing Partnership seeks to expand affordable housing options for low-income families both on and off reserve, while also providing skills and training to Indigenous youth and women to equip them with trade skills they can use to maintain or create new homes within their communities.
Housing issues for Indigenous families
Overcrowding, dilapidated housing and general lack of affordability are some of the issues many Canadian Indigenous families face, especially those living on reserves and settlements. By all standards, on reserve shelter options fall short of any measure of adequate and safe housing.
In 2011, half of Indigenous on-reserve households lived in unacceptable housing, and one third lived below one or both of the adequacy and suitability standards and had incomes that were insufficient to meet the costs of acceptable housing. (CMHC, Canadian Housing Observer, 2014). Despite investments by the federal government, housing conditions for Indigenous families are not improving and the problem continues to worsen.
Helping even more Indigenous families
We’re more determined than ever to build partnerships and homes for Indigenous families in need.
The key to our success is partnership and collaboration.
If your community or organization would like to partner with Habitat’s Indigenous Housing Partnership, please contact Jayshree Thakar, National Manager, Indigenous Housing Partnership at email@example.com.
Spotlight on Indigenous Housing Partnership projects
In Indigenous communities:
Indigenous skills and training opportunities: Local Habitats across the country have engaged Indigenous communities in training and skills-building initiatives. We partner with schools, educational institutions, and facilities for youth offenders to enable Indigenous youth and women to access training opportunities.
“I think this program is perfect for both aboriginal and non-aboriginal students because they get to receive a hands-on experience in the work field. They learn skills and traits that could be used in everyday life,” said Everet Chase Sayer, Piapot student leader. “I would like to see more First Nations take advantage of programs like this because it give students an advantage in life’s journey.”
Click here to read a few examples of Indigenous training and skills partnerships with local Habitat for Humanity organizations across Canada.
Duck Lake - Since 2013, six Duck Lake families have moved into Habitat for Humanity homes, all thanks to partnerships between the town of Duck Lake, the Willow Cree Healing Lodge, The Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation, and Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert’s. The project has also been supported with contributions from the Government of Canada (through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation or CMHC) along with the Government of Saskatchewan and donations from both individuals and corporations.
“In Duck Lake, our partnerships have been so successful,” says Bonnie Guigon, the chair for Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert’s Duck Lake chapter. “Habitat brings together the First Nation, the Healing Lodge, and the community.” Click here to learn more about this project.
Pikangikum First Nation and Habitat for Humanity Manitoba - A lack of access to clean drinking water is a significant health and quality of life issue for many First Nation communities across Canada. The Indigenous people of Pikangikum, a remote fly-in Ojibwe community in northern Ontario, know what it’s like not to be able to drink water directly from the tap – they have been under a boil water advisory for more than a decade. Not only that, just 109 of the 500 homes in Pikangikum even have a tap – the rest must travel to one of six watering points in the community to collect water in buckets for drinking or cooking. The elders of the band identified finding, and implementing, a solution to providing access to clean drinking water in homes as a top priority for their community.
Tasked with bringing clean drinking water to 10 more homes in the second phase of the project, the volunteer-run Pikangikum Working Group reached out to Habitat for Humanity Manitoba.Click here to read more about this project.
Takhini River ‘First House’ – In 2012, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, near Whitehorse, partnered with Habitat for Humanity Yukon to make affordable homeownership available to more families on their settlement land. A milestone project, this was Habitat’s first build on a First Nations settlement in Canada, making homeownership possible for three low-income First Nations families through a triplex project.
Thank you to Habitat Canada's Indigenous Housing Partnership's founding partner: