The standard model of residential construction is failing Indigenous communities on-reserve, leading to the overcrowding of homes, disrepair, health issues and cultural degradation. This situation perpetuates already drastic socio-economic inequity, as the high cost to heat poorly built and maintained homes keeps Indigenous families trapped in a cycle of energy poverty.
New housing projects offer incredible potential to achieve sustainable and equitable economic development, create meaningful livelihoods, and enhance cultural resilience on-reserve. Innovation is required to ensure that Indigenous communities are able to fulfil their development visions, while building dignified, culturally inspired and sustainable housing.
The information contained in this guide details an approach to developing a comprehensive baseline assessment that communities can use to assess their own readiness for transforming their housing systems into value-added, community development opportunities.
Additionally, a basic decision-making framework for self-determined housing is provided, as well as a financial resources guide along with other practical and useful information to assist Indigenous communities in thinking about how to transform their housing systems.