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Understanding housing eco-systems: making space for holistic housing discussions

Ecotrust Canada’s Indigenous Home-Lands (IHL) team is thrilled to announce the successful completion of our first Housing Solutions Lab Workshop with partner Huu-ay-aht First Nations (HFN). Facilitated by Jacqueline Jennings of RADIUS SFU, with graphic facilitation support courtesy of Nigitst’il Norbert of Drawing Change,  this virtual workshop brought Huu-ay-aht citizens, staff and government officials together to share community development updates, listen to citizen experiences and perspectives, and discuss housing challenges and potential solutions.

This 3.5-hour virtual event marks the first of three holistic housing workshops to be offered as a part of the Housing Solutions Lab, and sets an important precedent for HFN and the Solutions Lab team as they navigate pathways for meaningful engagement and citizen inclusion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Graphic Recorder captured the major themes and ideas in a visual story format, courtesy of Drawing Change. This artifact, pictured below, will be shared with past and future participants, serving as a visual record of the themes and conversations.

Workshop #1 Graphic Recording, produced by Nigitst’il Norbert of Drawing Change. (Ecotrust Canada)

Complex challenges, community conversations

Safe, sustainable housing persists as one of the most pressing, and complex, community challenges for First Nations communities and governments across British Columbia and Canada. Culturally mismatched systems of governance and funding reinforce these challenges, making it harder for communities and Nations to develop sustainable housing systems that enable social, economic, and cultural-ecological well-being.

In partnership with two First Nations governments — Huu-ay-aht First Nations, and the Tsilhqot’in National Government — the Solutions Lab offers a space to learn, understand, and ultimately transform housing systems. The intention is to create inclusive, respectful spaces to support First Nations in identifying, understanding, and testing solutions toward housing challenges in their communities and territories.

A screenshot from the Solutions Lab Workshop #1, December 3, 2020. (Ecotrust Canada)

Looking ahead to 2021

With the debut workshop complete, the Home-Lands team will work with our partners to analyze the workshop’s findings, which will inform housing system solutions to test out in 2021. We also look forward to planning and delivering additional workshops with both Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Tsilhqot’in National Government throughout 2021 via the Housing Solutions Lab.

Thanking our funders

Home-Lands Housing Solutions Lab are funded by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) National Housing Strategy, with the goal of making progress on complex housing challenges. This work would not be possible without CMHC’s generous support.

The Indigenous Home-Lands initiative has been made possible with the generous support of the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia.