MEADOW LAKE, SK (June 24, 2016)—The Flying Dust First Nation and Habitat for Humanity Canada are celebrating the completion of the Kikinaw Elders Lodge, Habitat Canada's first on-reserve build. The 10-unit accommodation will provide wheelchair-accessible housing for the elders at Flying Dust.
The Elders of Flying Dust chose to name the complex "Kikinaw," the Cree word for "our home."
"We are very proud of our partnership with Habitat and our work with Habitat Lloydminster. It is a historic day at Flying Dust First Nation as we realize our dream of providing adequate homes for our Elders with Habitat. With 'housing continuum' we hope to serve housing needs of our younger families for years," says Flying Dust First Nation Chief Richard Gladue.
Habitat for Humanity Lloydminster has been working closely with the entire Flying Dust community since shovels went into the ground on the Kikinaw Elders Lodge on May 1, 2015, with the elders providing input on the design.
The Flying Dust First Nation came together to contribute 5,000 hours of volunteer labour, giving the youth in the community access to training in the trades. The homes the elders are leaving will be retrofitted, providing younger Indigenous families the opportunity to realize their dreams of affordable homeownership.
“We are honoured to have been able to join forces with the Flying Dust First Nation and provide the community's elders with accessible housing," says Mark Rodgers, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. "We want to congratulate all of those involved in this strong partnership, which we hope will create a lasting impact in the community. Collaboration like this allows us to provide solutions for those in need of affordable housing both on- and off-reserve."
Since Habitat for Humanity Canada's Indigenous Housing Program began in 2007 with the support of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), almost 150 families have been helped. This program has expanded affordable homeownership possibilities for Indigenous families in need of decent and affordable housing.
In 2011, Habitat Canada signed an agreement with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) with the ultimate goal of increasing First Nations' involvement in Habitat Canada projects while giving First Nations people opportunities to gain skills in the trades. This partnership also focuses on increasing First Nations housing options.
The Kikinaw accommodation was made possible by partners such as Flying Energy LP, All Weather Windows, the RBC Foundation, the Tachane Foundation and Enbridge Inc.
About Habitat for Humanity Lloydminster: Habitat for Humanity Lloydminster has been building homes in partnership with provincial and municipal governments, volunteers, partner families, business leaders and community-minded service organizations since 1999. Habitat Lloydminster sees safe, decent, affordable housing for our partner families not only as a product, but also as a process of building and sustaining better communities for all.
About Habitat for Humanity Canada: Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, non-profit organization working towards a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to call home. With the help of over 70,000 volunteers every year and 56 affiliate organizations from coast to coast, our mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to break the cycle of poverty in Canada and around the world. For more information, please visit www.habitat.ca.
For further information:
Senior Manager, Communications
Habitat for Humanity Canada
Chief Richard Gladue
Flying Dust First Nation