Partnerships In Action

The First Nations Market Housing Fund (the Fund) is working with more than one third of all First Nation governments across Canada, supporting their goals of strengthening governance and making informed decisions as they create and sustain market-based housing systems. The Fund's capacity development support has been used for laws, codes, by-laws, policies, plans, staff training and accreditation, and citizen education in First Nations communities across the country. In this session you will hear from a senior manager in one First Nation that the Fund is serving, and how they have worked on achieving a balance of tradition and custom with economic opportunities across a number of sectors that reflect the community’s goals, including housing. Teslin Tlingit Council is a self-governing First Nation located along the Alaska Highway in the Yukon, one of the first four First Nations to have signed a lands claim agreement in 1993. Since then, the TTC has seized economic development while respecting its traditional governance of a clan system. Recent achievements include signing a new and improved Lands and Resources Act (2016), an intergovernmental agreement with the Yukon Government (2018), and continued implementation of the community capital plan. Teslin Tlingit Council was the first Yukon First Nation to guarantee home loans backed by the Fund and has used the Fund’s capacity building extensively in areas supporting the advancement of economic development.

Presented by: Wes Wirth, Executive Manager, Teslin Tlingit Council and Deborah Taylor, Executive Director, First Nations Market Housing Fund

Wes Wirth is the Executive Manager for Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC) and has been for the last 5 years. While with TTC he been involved with revamping the housing program including a new Housing Policy and a First Nation Market Housing Policy among his many tasks. He previously has worked as the CAO for the Village of Teslin and Yukon Government as Director of Operations for unincorporated communities. All these positions rely heavily on building relationships for effective service delivery.

Deborah Taylor is the Executive Director of the First Nations Market Housing Fund, a position she has held since the Fund was opened in 2008. Prior to taking on this role she has more than 25 years of work experience at CMHC where she held positions of increasing responsibility. During her career she worked extensively with First Nations people on the design, development and management of housing programs.