Building Sustainable Houses, Businesses and Youth Capacity to Solve the Housing Crisis in First Nation Communities

a presentation by Shirley Thompson
  • June 6, 2019 12:00-1:00 pm
  • EITC E2-125
  • RSVP Link
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A partnership with two fly-in Island Lake communities in Manitoba is designing and building sustainable homes as well as a sustainable housing incubator business and education program. Design workshops in the community with local students and architects and experts from the university have created environmental and culturally-appropriate designs that will be built by these local students. As part of this partnership a postsecondary education program called the Boreal Homebuilders is being piloted which is training workers to log, sawmill and build sustainable houses from their local forest. In addition, we collaborated in creating a sustainable and feasible sawmill and housing corporations in each community with adequate resources (e.g., sawmills, housing business plan , trained labour, proper housing designs). This partnership is showing how investing in First Nation communities is needed to solve the housing crisis and build mino bimaadiziwin, which means a good life in Oji-Cree. This capacity-building model provides a means to shift the poor condition and shortage of housing in First Nations.

Shirley Thompson is an associate professor at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba. She is the principal investigator of the $2.5 million dollar Social Science and Humanities Research Council grant called Mino Bimaadiziwin. Check out the web page at http://ecohealthcircle.com. She has a master degree in Environmental Engineering and a Doctoral degree in Community Development and Adult Education.   

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