Canada and Dene Nation announce pilot program for Dene-led housing solutions
May 9, 2022 — Yellowknife, Treaty 8 Territory, Northwest Territories — Government of Canada and Dene Nation
Northern, remote and Indigenous communities in Canada face unique housing and infrastructure needs. The Government of Canada is working with partners to build and renovate housing that meets community needs, based on local priorities.
Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, along with Dene National Chief Gerald Antoine, announced support for Dene communities through a new pilot project that will advance community-led housing solutions.
The Government of Canada is providing $200,000 a year over three years to the Dene Nation to create a Housing and Infrastructure Secretariat that will support and coordinate housing-related initiatives benefiting Dene peoples. This pilot project will allow Dene communities to propose solutions that reflect their unique needs, secure federal housing funding, and support the Dene Nation Strategic Housing Plan.
In addition, Canada provided $135,000 through Indigenous Services Canada's Community Infrastructure and Housing program for the purchase of a modular unit at Kátł'odeeche First Nation as part of the Dene Nation's Strategic Housing Plan. These measures will support ongoing housing efforts in the Northwest Territories, while providing the Dene Nation with a foundation for future collaboration to address housing challenges.
"Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home, no matter where they live. Northern and Indigenous partners have the local knowledge and expertise to implement housing plans that work for them. This federal government will not impose a 'one-size-fits-all' approach, because we know that does not work. We are proud to partner with the Dene Nation for this pilot program. Through continued collaboration, communities are creating and implementing new housing solutions that meet their needs."
The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs
"Our home, on the land, has always been the foundation that enriches the quality of our way of life. The Dene Nation acknowledges that there are many areas in housing that require our immediate attention. Through the support of the Housing Secretariat project, we look forward to seeking meaningful engagements with the many levels of government involved in the housing crisis in Denendeh. This must be done in alignment with the needs and values of our leadership and our Dene families."
Chief Gerald Antoine
"Supporting solutions as prioritized by northern and Indigenous partners like the Dene Nation will build healthier, safer and more prosperous Northern communities. Together, we will continue to work to respond to northern and Indigenous housing needs."
MP, Northwest Territories
The Government of Canada is providing a total of $600,000 in funding over three years to support the Dene Nation's Dene Nation Housing Secretariat project. Canada also provided $135,000 for the purchase of the modular unit at Kátł'odeeche First Nation.
Targeted supports to Indigenous communities represent another important step towards improving the well-being of Northerners in the spirit of reconciliation. This funding also demonstrates overall progress on commitments to support the self-determination of Indigenous communities.
In May 2021, a Dene Nation Chiefs Housing Advisory Committee representing regions across Denendeh was created to provide advice to develop key housing policies and guidance to help ensure that the unique rights, interests and perspectives of Dene peoples are acknowledged, affirmed, and implemented in the Northwest Territories.
In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made historic investments to address infrastructure and housing needs, including $18 million for northern Indigenous communities in the Northwest Territories, including Dene communities that have historically not received investments.
Budget 2021 also made other important investments for the North and Arctic to support the Government of the Northwest Territories' most urgent and immediate housing and infrastructure priorities, including $25 million to address critical housing needs and support the construction of new public housing units across the territory.
Budget 2022, announced on April 7, proposes further investments in northern housing, including $60 million over two years to support affordable housing and related infrastructure in the Northwest Territories, allowing partners to continue to advance their most immediate and pressing housing and infrastructure needs.
Building on more than $2.7 billion to support housing in Indigenous communities since 2015, Budget 2022 proposes $4.3 billion over seven years to improve and expand Indigenous housing in Canada, which includes $2.4 billion over five years to support First Nations housing on reserves.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Arts, Culture, Communications and Community Engagement
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