This project recognizes that First Nations often face many challenges in accessing sustainable and culturally relevant housing. To address this, an Indigenous Housing and Homelands Governance Toolkit was created in 2021-2022 by the Indigenous Homelands Initiative at Ecotrust Canada in collaboration with several First Nations partners. The toolkit is a series of modules exploring “outside the colonial box” approaches to Indigenous housing policies. These approaches would help remove systemic barriers that prevent First Nations people from accessing sustainable and culturally relevant housing. This project aims to expand the reach of the toolkit by working with the First Nations partners involved, the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation and Nuxalk Nation.
3 Key Goals
Create opportunities for First Nations to be involved in fair and cooperative housing discussions with governments, public agencies, and financial institutions.
In collaboration with First Nations partners, identify new and culturally appropriate systems of land renting and ownership (tenure).
Make the toolkit easily accessible online with a digital marketing strategy that promotes the resources with First Nations.
Project scope and expected outcomes
Spreading the word about alternative approaches to Indigenous housing policies
To address the challenges in accessing housing, an Indigenous Housing and Homelands Governance Toolkit offers a series of modules that explore ideas “outside the box” of the colonial housing system. These new approaches to Indigenous housing policies explore how to meet these housing needs in a culturally legitimate and meaningful way.
The toolkit targets Indigenous leaders, government, council, and housing managers in Canada within the 200 distinct First Nations in British Columbia and beyond. Once finalized and launched, it will be accessible to all Indigenous people in B.C. and Canada.
This project will make the toolkit accessible online by creating a dedicated page on the ecotrust.ca website, with content that can be downloaded or viewed from a desktop, tablet, or mobile device.
One year to launch
The project will be carried out over a year, broken down by quarterly phases, all in collaboration with First Nations partners:
- In the first quarter, workshops will explore core principles and values of First Nation communities, examining how these may fit into specific housing and land policies. A key focus will be developing community-driven activities that support the ideas that arise.
- In the second quarter, participants will identify and define new and culturally appropriate renting and ownership systems.
- In the third quarter, the focus will be on examining these renting and ownership systems. The work will look at how to overcome known financial gaps and governance challenges through solutions related to shared-equity and community land trusts. A key outcome will be developing financial tools with financial institutions.
- In the fourth quarter, the project will expand the toolkit’s shared-equity and community land trust modules, complete the financial tools, and document case studies. Once completed, the toolkit will be promoted directly to First Nations within B.C. and extensively online.
Supporting the launch with a range of tactics
To gain wider awareness and use of the toolkit among First Nations within B.C. and beyond, this project will conduct the following promotional activities:
- Develop a short, engaging informational video explaining the toolkit and what it includes. This video will be shared on Ecotrust Canada’s website, as well as on its five main social media channels: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- Produce a press release to announce the toolkit's publication. This will be shared on the website and the five social media channels.
- Share two posts per month for five months on the five social media channels. The posts will highlight different features from the toolkit and its value.
- Create a blog post, in collaboration with a partner First Nation, on why the community wanted to support the toolkit project and how they use it in their housing plans. The post will be shared on the website and featured in the Ecotrust Canada monthly newsletter, which has over 2,000 subscribers.
- Promote the toolkit at a national level with the support of partners, in particular the Aboriginal Savings Corporation of Canada (ABSCAN) in partnership with the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA). This will include promoting the toolkit at a Special NACCA Working Session on the Yänonhchia’ initiative, to be held in Wendake, Quebec, in 2023.
See more examples of projects funded through the National Housing Strategy Research and Planning Fund.
Activity Stream: Knowledge Mobilization
Title of the Research:Mobilizing the Indigenous Housing and Homelands Governance Toolkit
Lead Applicant: Ecotrust Canada
Project Collaborators / Partners:
- Aboriginal Savings Corporation of Canada
- Xeni Gwet'in First Nation
- Nuxalk Nation, Catherine Donnelly Foundation
Get More Information:
Contact CMHC at RPF-FRP@cmhc-schl.gc.ca or visit the Research and Planning Fund webpage.
Search CMHC’s Housing Knowledge Centre for more information and updates about this research project.