Transformative, systems change within Indigenous housing requires bottom-up solutions which represent the needs, ideas, and values of those being housed. Working closely with our community partners, Huu-ay-aht First Nations (HFN) and the Tŝilhqot’in Nation, the Indigenous Home-Lands (IHL) Initiative at Ecotrust Canada has been applying social innovation as a key tool in advancing self-determined housing solutions.
From the fall of 2020 through to the summer of 2021, the Home-Lands team and Huu-ay-aht First Nations partnered to carry out three Indigenous housing solutions labs workshops with HFN staff and citizens. With funding from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the National Housing Strategy, and facilitation support from Jacqueline Jennings of RADIUS-SFU, these structured sessions allowed for unique challenges to be identified, novel ideas to surface, and innovative solutions to generate collaboratively by Huu-ay-aht people.
These labs were an important step toward change within Huu-ay-aht housing, and moving into 2022 our Home-Lands team and Huu-ay-aht First Nations will continue to work together to turn ideas into action.
“Participating opened my eyes to the unique economic challenges that our community has compared to any other community, and the solutions labs have accurately identified what issues are apparent for ongoing sovereignty within our nation, and developing a self-governing plan so that we can meet those needs.” — Michael Sumida, Huu-ay-aht First Nations Housing Solutions Lab participant