TORONTO – Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced that applications are being accepted for the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative. “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” states Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P. Minister of Indigenous Services.
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
“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,” says Pamela Glode-Desrochers and Will Goodon Co-chairs, Indigenous Steering Committee
Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative.