The creation of this Housing Policy has been a collaborative effort shared by all Nibinamik First Nations community members. The process began when volunteer Housing Committee members and Chief and Council, along with partners at Ryerson University and +city lab, formally committed to reimagining the Housing Policy through a community-driven project in July 2016. This Housing Policy links community values to how housing is managed. A housing policy designed by, and for the community, ensures that the way in which houses are distributed and cared for is agreed upon and considered fair by all community members.
Since this time, more than one hundred community members of all ages have participated in visioning sessions, workshops, interviews and discussions that would guide the creation of this policy. Community members shared values, knowledge and experience with the project team, and together, common understandings looked to be developed for the maintenance and development of a housing system in Nibinamik. Throughout the sharing process, communication was built on a listen-learn-share model where all participants were recognized as having unique gifts to contribute to conversation, and each was deserving of an opportunity to be heard, and have their knowledge shared.
A first major accomplishment of the project was the establishment of a series of co-created goals for housing in the community which would serve to guide the creation of the Housing Policy.
As well as creating a Housing Policy, this process formalized within Nibinamik a Housing Committee. This Committee will help to guide the implementation of this policy, and the future of housing within the community. The makeup of this Committee, its purpose and functions were designated through a community visioning process.
Nibinamik Housing Project
ᓂᐱᓇᒥᐠ ᐊᐧᑲᐦᐃᑫᐃᐧ ᐊᓄᑭᐃᐧᐣ
Houses are more than just physical places of shelter. Housing not only satisfies physical needs by providing shelter but also psychological needs by providing a sense of personal space and privacy. Nibinamik understands the need for safe, and uncrowded housing in the community.
In 2018 the total number of the communities registered members was 539, with 387 members living on reserve. The Community had 94 housing units, and recognized the need for 102 additional units to address issues such as overcrowding and unsafe buildings.
Nibinamik understands that many houses in the community are considered to be in poor condition, not only by community members but also by Canadian Standards. Such problems consist of seasonal shifting foundation, doors and windows not sealing properly, mold, and worn-out floors and roofs.
Nibinamik quickly put into action a 20-year housing plan addressing long-term residential development requirements, in the plan the goal of constructing 9 new housing units a year is addressed.