Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative brings together Indigenous innovators and mentors to further develop Indigenous-led housing ideas

News release

January 20, 2020 — Parksville, Traditional Snaw-naw-as First Nation Territory, British Columbia — Indigenous Services Canada

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, congratulated 24 Indigenous innovators on moving forward in developing their ideas under the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative.

The 24 innovators come from all regions of Canada and their ideas cover a range of new ways to respond to Indigenous social and housing needs.

The selected innovators are now taking part in the ‘Accelerator’ period, which began today at the Tigh-Na-Mara Conference Centre in Parksville, British Columbia. The Accelerator will provide the innovators with mentoring support from Indigenous architects and other professionals to refine their ideas into implementable projects.

The Innovation Initiative’s Indigenous Steering Committee, comprising First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation experts in infrastructure and housing, selected the 24 innovators out of the 342 who had submitted ideas to the Initiative.

Innovators will spend up to 18 months working with experts during the Accelerator period. Innovators that complete the Accelerator period and successfully demonstrate that their proposal is ready for implementation will receive implementation funding. Lessons learned from the Accelerator will also provide useful information for Indigenous communities toward addressing their housing needs.

The Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative aims to support the voices and ideas of Indigenous peoples directly, and complement the Government of Canada’s investments to improve housing conditions in Indigenous communities. Supporting creative approaches and bringing forward new ideas from Indigenous people will help spark changes that can lead to better housing and social conditions.

Quick facts

  • The Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative is a partnership between Indigenous Services Canada, Infrastructure Canada, and the Privy Council Office’s Impact and Innovation Unit.
  • In April 2019, the Government of Canada launched the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative to support innovative Indigenous-led housing ideas. Of 342 applicants, 24 were selected by the Initiative’s Indigenous Steering Committee to enter the Accelerator period of the Innovation Initiative.
  • The Accelerator is administered by the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO), along with the Indigenous Steering Committee and the applicants themselves.
  • Accelerator partners include the Indigenous Task Force of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Vancouver Island University, McEwen School of Architecture (Laurentian University), MASS Design Group, Ecotrust Canada, Indigenous Clean Energy Network and the Aboriginal Savings Corporation of Canada.
  • $6 million is available to support the 24 innovators during the Accelerator process. This will be followed by $30 million for the implementation of projects that meet the second selection process requirements.
  • This $36 million is in addition to the Government’s more than $2.5 billion in housing investments in Indigenous communities since 2016 to support tens of thousands of new builds and renovations, as well as capacity building projects.

“Congratulations to the 24 selected innovators and thank you to all applicants who submitted their ideas to the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative. Our government is very pleased to support this outstanding project to promote Indigenous solutions to Indigenous housing issues. I look forward to following the activities of this Initiative as we move into the Accelerator process. This is an excellent opportunity to promote mutual learning and promote partnerships between Indigenous innovators and mentors.”

The Honourable Marc Miller, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

“Applicants to the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative brought forward many amazing ideas that responded to unique geographic and distinction-based challenges on reserve, in urban centres and in remote, northern communities. In choosing the 24 innovators for the Accelerator period, the Steering Committee sought to ensure First Nations, Inuit, Métis Nation and urban communities would benefit from new ways that respond to Indigenous social and housing realities. This included whether the need is for transition housing and wrap-around supports in urban centres, homes for youth and the elderly that build community and connection, and construction approaches that offer skills and development training to community members and use local services and products.”

Pamela Glode-Desrochers and Will Goodon
Co-chairs, Indigenous Steering Committee
Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative