Mr. Speaker, I had the pleasure of hosting the Northern Housing Summit on April 23 and 24, 2019 in Inuvik. The Summit’s theme was “Northern Solutions for Northern Housing,” reflecting the mandate commitment of the 18th Legislative Assembly, and its purpose was to encourage new partnerships in housing.
We brought leaders from across the Northwest Territories to Inuvik to share their experiences on a wide variety of housing matters. There were also presenters from the Yukon and Nunavut. Topics ranged from territorial and federal funding opportunities to local capacity development, green building practices, community housing planning and housing for healthy communities.
The Northern Housing Summit featured two distinguished keynote speakers. Former Premier Nellie Cournoyea provided her unique perspective on housing, both as a political leader and from her own lived experience. Douglas Cardinal is one of North America’s preeminent architects. Mr. Cardinal gave an engaging presentation on his mission to incorporate Indigenous concepts, values and respect for local Indigenous traditions and cultural practices into design and architecture.
Mr. Speaker, the Northern Housing Summit provided communities, Indigenous organizations, industry, non-government organizations and other housing stakeholders with the information to access new investment opportunities, such as the Government of the Northwest Territories Community Housing Support Initiative and the federal National Housing Co-Investment Fund.
The Northern Housing Summit empowered individuals, organizations and communities to engage on key housing issues and initiatives. It has already resulted in the expansion of partnerships among housing stakeholders.
The Summit also encouraged stakeholders to plan for the future through the training of tradespersons, participation in community housing plans, the development of green energy solutions and by contributing to healthy communities.
Further, this event provided an opportunity for Indigenous leaders to express their thoughts on the federal Indigenous Housing Strategy. Northwest Territories Indigenous leaders were unanimous in stating that southern-based models often do not work in the North and that access to federal housing funds must allow for equality and fairness among all Indigenous groups across Canada, including the Northwest Territories.
The report on the Northern Housing summit will be released in June.
Mr. Speaker, the Northern Housing Summit was a success on many levels. It allowed communities and stakeholders to come together, learn from each other and build a shared path toward “Northern Solutions for Northern Housing”.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.