Skip to content

Summit looking at innovative Indigenous housing solutions

Two-day event hosted by Nishnawbi Aski Nation is welcoming people from across the territory

THUNDER BAY — Chiefs and councils along with Elders, women, youth, and housing and infrastructure professionals from across the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) territory were welcomed to Thunder Bay on April 17 to participate in discussions surrounding a path forward on First Nations housing.

The summit, which was themed ‘Building Homes in Partnership,’ is a two-day event designed to facilitate discussions on community-based solutions to the housing crisis across NAN territory.

The event started off with a welcoming from NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, who took a few moments to acknowledge the contributions of everyone working to solve the housing crisis.

“I'm just so grateful to have you here. Miigwetch for your commitment to train our community members to become certified carpenters,” he said. "Miigwetch for joining us. I also just want to acknowledge you being here despite what's going on in your communities. I know there's always a lot on our plate.”

The event will also feature updates on the NAN Housing Strategy, a three-year project that is working to create occupant-focused housing assessments, determining localized housing need, and developing housing action plans and solutions at the community and regional level.

“That old way of the federal government giving you an allocation based on some made-up formula for capital funding for you to try to build two houses or maybe three houses a year while the demand for housing is skyrocketing, it's just not going to work,” said Fiddler.

“And it's not a criticism of people from INAC that are here or from the federal government. That's just the reality right now. So we are looking at more innovative ways of building different types of housing, and you will see some of those models later on today and tomorrow.”

The summit continues on Thursday.

— SNnewswatch