Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative
Cando is a national Indigenous organization involved in Indigenous community economic development.
Cando is working in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) to deliver the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative (IHII). Cando coordinated the Accelerator Launch Event, held in January 2020, and is now managing all funding agreements with partners and selected innovators.
Danielle Lightning is leading Cando’s work on the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative, with the support of Elizabeth Calahaison. Cando’s communication team, lead by Paul Macedo, is also working in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada to share updates publicly about the progress of selected projects.
Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative celebrates its first project completion – Pikangikum Safe Village
PIKANGIKUM FIRST NATION, ON, Nov. 3, 2021 - The Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative (IHII) congratulates all those involved in the development and construction of Pikangikum’s ‘Community Safe House’ – the first IHII project to be completed. The Grand Opening was held in the community in October 2021.
This project will provide residence-based social services to vulnerable members within the community of Pikangikum in Ontario:
- Pikangikum First Nation has built an eight residential unit 'Community Safe Village' that provides safe, transitional, emergency housing with professional and culturally sensitive support for community members escaping violence. The facility includes six hotel units accessible from a separate entrance for those visiting the community, to generate revenue to support the operation and maintenance of the Community Safe Village.
The Innovation Initiative's Indigenous Steering Committee, composed of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation experts in infrastructure and housing, chose 24 projects out of 342 submissions to participate in the first phase of the Initiative. In the Accelerator phase, project teams received funding and support to develop their ideas.
The Pikangikum project was one of the first projects to be approved to move to the implementation phase and is now the first to complete construction.
IHII aims to support the voices and ideas of Indigenous Peoples directly and complement the Government of Canada's commitment to close current socio-economic gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples. Supporting Indigenous-led innovative approaches and new ideas will help spark changes that can lead to better housing and social and economic conditions. The Initiative is part of the Privy Council Office's Impact Canada family of challenges and initiatives that engage Canadians on developing innovative solutions for their communities.
"The Pikangikum Community Safe Village (Safe House) will be a place of healing and empowerment, a sanctuary for the vulnerable to lessen the effects of generational trauma. The Safe House will change the lives of the people who for too long have been seeking traditional healing and have unfortunately succumbed to the hopelessness and despair that leads to suicides. We thank Chief Dean Owen and his Council for the support they have given us to build this facility…it takes a village."
Vernon Kejick and Kim Sigurdson
Innovators and Project Coordinators for the Pikangikum Community Safe Village
“On behalf of the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative (IHII) Indigenous Steering Committee, I congratulate Pikangikum First Nation on the opening of its new Community Safe Village – an innovative and unique project that provides a safe space that combines emergency housing with an adjoining revenue-generating inn for visitors to the community, the latter of which will help offset the cost of operations.”
Dawn Madahbee Leach, Indigenous Steering Committee Member
"It is very exciting that Community Safe Village in Pikangikum First Nation is now opening to serve members of the community. This project brings critically important housing to the community of Pikangikum. This project is just one of the 24 Indigenous housing projects supported through the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative, which provides support for the development of Indigenous housing projects in communities throughout Canada. Cando recognizes the urgent need for safe and healthy housing for Indigenous people as well as the critical role new housing development can have on community economic development."
Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (Cando)
- 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.
- The Initiative is led, from start to finish, by an Indigenous Steering Committee. The Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (Cando) is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Initiative, with advice and support from ISC.
- The project at Pikangikum First Nation in Ontario was approved by the Initiative's Indigenous Steering Committee to move forward into the construction phase in November 2020.
- The Pikangikum project received just over $195,000 during the Accelerator phase and $1.25 million in implementation funding through IHII.
Download this release in PDF format
Background and Resources
The Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative (IHII) is a five-year $36M federal program funded by Indigenous Services Canada and Infrastructure Canada, developed under the auspices of the Privy Council Office Impact and Innovation Unit and being delivered in partnership with the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO).
The Initiative aims to find and support First Nation, Inuit and Métis Nation innovators who have housing ideas for rural, urban or remote Indigenous communities. Selected innovators could receive funding for both the development of their ideas and the implementation of their projects.
The Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative is based on a simple yet powerful idea: that the best solutions come from those who live the problem every day. Residents of Indigenous communities understand the housing-related challenges they face. The Initiative aims to tap into this understanding and inspire Indigenous peoples to propose and develop effective solutions.
The Initiative funds ideas that come from Indigenous communities of all sizes across the country - urban, rural, remote, on and off reserve. The goal is to find ways to make it easier for Indigenous peoples to live in safe, appropriate homes.
Of the 342 applicants, an Indigenous Steering Committee selected 24 projects led by Indigenous Innovators to participate in the Accelerator phase where innovators will spend up to 18 months refining their project ideas. Project ideas that meet eligibility criteria will access additional funding to support implementation. The Accelerator period is supported by a number of partners. Progress over this phase will be posted on the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative Circle hosted on the Indigenous Clean Energy platform.
The Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative aims to support First Nation, Inuit and Métis Nation innovators who have housing ideas for rural, urban or remote Indigenous communities. Selected innovators could receive funding for both the development of their ideas and the implementation of their projects.
The initiative is based on a simple yet powerful idea: that the best solutions come from those who live the problem every day. Residents of Indigenous communities understand the housing-related challenges they face and the Initiative taps into this understanding to inspire Indigenous peoples to propose and develop effective solutions.
IHII is funding ideas that come from all Indigenous communities - First Nation, Inuit, Métis Nation - of all sizes from across the country - urban, rural, remote, on and off reserve. Our goal is to find ways to make it easier for Indigenous peoples to live in safe, appropriate homes.
Join the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative (IHII) Circle
A community of practice for those addressing the housing
needs of Indigenous people in Canada.
The Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative is funded by
Indigenous Services Canada and Infrastructure Canada.