Indian Life Newspaper -

Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative joins innovators and mentors for Indigenous housing ideas


Last updated 4/8/2020 at 3:50pm

Parksville, B.C.-Recently, the Honorable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, congratulated 24 Indigenous innovators on moving forward in developing their ideas under the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative. The 24 innovators come from all regions of Canada and their ideas cover a range of new ways to respond to Indigenous social and housing needs.

The selected innovators are now taking part in the Accelerator period. The Accelerator will provide the innovators with mentoring support from Indigenous architects and other professionals to refine their ideas into implementable projects.

The Innovation Initiative's Indigenous Steering Committee, comprising First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation experts in infrastructure and housing, selected the 24 innovators out of the 342 who had submitted ideas to the Initiative.

Innovators will spend up to 18 months working with experts during the Accelerator period. Innovators that complete the Accelerator period and successfully demonstrate that their proposal is ready for implementation will receive implementation funding. Lessons learned from the Accelerator will also provide useful information for Indigenous communities toward addressing their housing needs.

In April 2019, the Government of Canada launched the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative to support innovative Indigenous-led housing ideas.

The applicants focused on six program areas:

Traditional First Nation, 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 Nation, Inuit and Métis Nation people; safety, security, and accessibility; energy independence and efficiency.

Applicants included First Nations, Inuit or Métis Nation people on or off the reserve, in a rural, urban or remote area and in any region of the country.

The hope of the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative is to deliver social and economic benefits for Indigenous communities, establish new partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and organization, implement various sizes and types of projects in a variety of communities, and share lessons learned from the implemented projects.

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

The project implementation period will last from 2020 to 2023 and $6 million is available to support the 24 innovators during the Accelerator process. This will be followed by $30 million for the implementation of projects that meet the second selection process requirements.

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.

Twenty-four innovators have been chosen to move forward in the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative.


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