Report: AFN Housing and Infrastructure Forum
Members of BC Housing & Infrastructure Council played a significant role in the Assembly of First Nations’ Forum held in Toronto March 10-12, 2020.
In line with the AFN’s increased attention on homelessness, HIC Council member, Fran Hunt Jinnochi, Executive Director of the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness Society (ACEH) in Victoria, was the keynote speaker. Fran presented a new way to approach homelessness based on removing the systematic and structural barriers to housing but also based on the voices of the people themselves. ACEH is one of only a few Indigenous led organizations that has ending Indigenous homelessness as its sole focus.
We amended our presentation for the HIC session when both Chief Dan George and Chief Mark Point could not attend the Forum for medical reasons. Kerry Black gave an update on our new vision and core directives. She gave an overview of the four pillars of our new Strategic Plan:
- Enhanced engagement
- Continued work developing the transfer strategy
- Building stronger relationship with FNs organizations, and
- Building HIC into an effective and efficient organization.
Sylvia Olsen described the new Engagement Plan and Jim Munro gave an update on the continued work HIC is doing with our government partners.
Sylvia Olsen, with Guy Latouche from Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador, conducted a session on the FNs Housing Managers’ Certificate Programs being delivered at Vancouver Island University (BC) and the First Nations Adult Education School Council (Quebec).
The highlights of the session were the presentations by students, Sharon McKay, Simpcw FN, BC and Edward Gabriel, Mohawk Council of Kanesatake. They described how they use what they’ve learned on a daily basis and how the programs have changed their management practices.
We also had an active booth at the Trade Show. Shelly, our Executive Assistant, secured a key location. She distributed hundreds of pieces of literature and received several requests for HIC to attend events across the country to share the work we are doing.