Indigenous innovators invited to submit their creative ideas for housing to the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative

News release

April 11, 2019 — Toronto, Ontario — Treaty 13 Territory — Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada is looking for ways to build new partnerships with Indigenous communities while testing new approaches to housing, and improving community well-being.

Today, the Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced that applications are being accepted for the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative.

This work will complement the Government of Canada's historic investments to improve housing conditions in Indigenous communities. Stimulating creative approaches and bringing forward new ideas from Indigenous people will help spark changes that can lead to better housing.

The Initiative will fund creative projects led by Indigenous peoples to design and build more effective, sustainable and culturally-inspired living spaces in rural and urban First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation communities.

Minister O'Regan made the announcement following a breakfast panel discussion by Indigenous innovators at the Public Policy Forum's annual Canada Growth Summit in Toronto, Ontario.

The Minister was joined by the Co-chairs of the Innovation Initiative's Indigenous Steering Committee. The committee is made up of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation housing experts who have overseen the design of the Initiative and will select projects to move through the Initiative.

The Innovation Initiative aims to support the voices and ideas of Indigenous people. It includes the 'Innovation Accelerator,' which provides mentoring and technical guidance to Indigenous innovators to help them form their initial ideas into construction-ready projects.

The Initiative is open to submissions by Indigenous applicants for projects serving rural, urban or remote First Nation, Inuit, or Métis Nation communities. Interested innovators can visit the Initiative's website to access a comprehensive application guide and submission form. Applications and submission forms can also be sent by mail.

The Initiative will support innovative housing ideas that fall under six focus areas:

  • Traditional First Nations, Inuit or Métis Nation building styles and techniques
  • Using the home for empowerment, capacity building and support for local businesses
  • Support for vulnerable populations
  • Culturally-inspired urban spaces for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation people
  • Safety, security, and accessibility
  • Energy independence and efficiency

Quotes

"Today we launch the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative — supporting Indigenous-led innovative housing approaches that accelerate change, build new partnerships to improve people's lives and enhance community well-being. This innovative program will test new ideas and encourage partnerships with the private and not-for-profit sectors. I am excited to see the submissions that will go toward designing and building more effective, sustainable and culturally-inspired housing in rural and urban communities."

The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

"The Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative is based on a simple yet powerful idea: that the best solutions come from those who live the problem every day. Residents of Indigenous communities understand the housing-related challenges they face. The Initiative aims to tap into this understanding and inspire Indigenous peoples to propose and develop effective solutions. We are committed to ensuring Métis Nation, Inuit and First Nations families and communities are served and we believe that your ideas can and will make a difference."

Pamela Glode-Desrochers and Will Goodon
Co-chairs, Indigenous Steering Committee
Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative

Quick facts

  • The Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative is a partnership between Indigenous Services Canada, Infrastructure Canada, and the Privy Council Office's Impact and Innovation Unit.

  • An Indigenous Steering Committee formed of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation housing experts have overseen the design of the Initiative and will select projects to move through the Initiative.

  • $6 million is available for up to 24 projects led by Indigenous innovators to take part in the "Innovation Accelerator," which provides mentoring and technical guidance to Indigenous innovators to help them form their initial ideas into construction-ready projects.

  • This will be followed by $30 million for the construction of 15 to 24 of these projects.

  • This $36 million is in addition to the Government's more than $2.5 billion in housing investments in Indigenous communities since 2016 to support tens of thousands of new builds and renovations, as well as capacity building projects.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Kevin Deagle
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Seamus O'Regan
Minister of Indigenous Services
873-354-0987

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca

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