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Ministers Philpott and Champagne announce the Indigenous Homes Innovation Challenge, launching in fall 2018

by pmnationtalk on August 7, 2018249 Views

August 7, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada is making major investments in housing in Indigenous communities to reduce overcrowding, improve building quality, and address housing shortages. At the same time, it is looking for ways to accelerate change by providing opportunities to test new ideas, build partnerships, expand financing options, and invest in the well-being of Indigenous peoples.

Today the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced the creation of the Indigenous Homes Innovation Challenge, to be launched in fall 2018. This follows up on a commitment by the federal government to engage with Indigenous communities to design a challenge specific to their needs and led by Indigenous community leaders.

The Ministers announced that the Government of Canada will award a total of $30 million in prize money for new builds over three rounds. The Challenge will fund creative approaches for the design and construction of Indigenous-led home and community innovation projects for First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples living in rural and urban communities.

It builds on the successful launch of the Smart Cities Challenge in fall 2017, which attracted 20 applications representing Indigenous communities or focusing on Indigenous peoples.

From start to finish the Indigenous Homes Innovation Challenge will be led by an Indigenous Steering Committee, composed of seven First Nations, Métis, Inuit and urban Indigenous experts.

Each year, a select number of applicants with proposals that require further development will be recommended by the Indigenous Steering Committee to receive support through an Innovation Lab so they can advance their proposals and compete in a later round of prizes.

All proposals must be led by Indigenous communities or organizations and focus on improving Indigenous community well-being. Emphasis will be placed on designs that can be replicated in other communities, among other criteria. The Challenge will be launched in fall 2018 and the call for proposals will be open until winter 2019.

More information is available here: Indigenous Homes Innovation Challenge.


“The goal of the Indigenous Homes Innovation Challenge is to support the creativity that exists in Indigenous communities across the country. We want to revive traditional building techniques, train Indigenous youth and create jobs and improve community well-being. Simply put, we want to spark changes that lead to better housing for Indigenous peoples.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

“Indigenous communities best understand the unique realities they face and have many innovative approaches to addressing housing shortages that we can support. Our government is pleased to support projects that will build stronger communities and expand on the approach of the Smart Cities Challenge to create more dignified homes for all Indigenous peoples.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne
Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Quick facts

  • A total of $30 million will be available for project awards, presented in three rounds with five prizes for new builds awarded per round.
  • The Indigenous Homes Innovation Challenge is being launched under the government’s broader Impact Canada Initiative, which is looking at new and innovative ways to help solve Canada’s biggest challenges in areas such as infrastructure, clean technology, marine conservation, and the opioid crisis.
  • The Indigenous Homes Innovation Challenge is being done in partnership with the Smart Cities Challenge and addresses the Government of Canada’s commitment to a competition specific to Indigenous communities that reflects their unique realities and issues.
  • Budget 2016 provided $554.3 million over two years to address immediate housing needs for First Nations people on reserve. As of March 31, 2018, 8,786 homes had been built, renovated, retrofitted, or serviced. Work on an additional 5,178 housing units or lots is underway, for a total of 13,964 housing units or lots serviced.
  • Budget 2017 and Budget 2018 included a more targeted housing approach for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities:
    • $600 million over three years to support First Nation housing on reserve as part of a 10-year Housing Strategy that is being developed with First Nations;
    • $400 million over 10 years to support an Inuit-led housing plan in Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and Inuvialuit. This is in addition to $240 million over 10 years announced in Budget 2017 to support housing in Nunavut; and,
    • $500 million over 10 years to support the Métis Nation’s housing strategy.

Associated links


Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada


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