Every topic and presentation was interesting and informative. - Housing Maintenance Coordinator
Cree Nation of Mistissini
[   Register |  Day 1 |  Day 2 |  Speakers |  Venue |  Agenda (PDF)   ]

Indigenous Housing Solutions

The most up-to-date solutions for On-Reserve housing from finance options, to infrastructure, to asset management.

November 5 - 6, 2019  ·  Gatineau, Quebec
Featuring These Industry Experts

Marc Boychuk, Metis Housing Tenant Relations Officer, Alberta Health Advisory

Marc Boychuk is a Metis Housing Tenant Relations Officer who is passionate about ending homelessness and identifying programs needed to accomplish this. Marc currently sits on several boards and committees including; Alberta Health Advisory, Stepping Up (Preventing Domestic Violence Against Women), Aboriginal Interagency, Poverty Reduction and RCMP Advisory committees. Housing First and Sustainable Housing with support are what Marc is advocating for as a major solution for people living in unsafe and unsanitary situations. Working with the Federal, Provincial and municipal governments and agencies Marc hopes to identify and bring much needed support for rural areas.

Working closely the Alberta Rural Development Network and being involved in the largest coordinated homeless estimation in 2018, gave Marc a firsthand knowledge at what is most needed in his community for those housed and unsheltered. By being in shelters, soup kitchens, streets, makeshift shelters, supportive living houses and prisons, Marc is continually learning and adapting to the new solutions and issues our vulnerable populations face.

Ian Cullis, Director, Asset Management, BC Non-Profit Housing Association

Ian Cullis is Director of Asset Management for BC Non-Profit Housing Association. His role allows him to develop funding solutions, incentive programs, and curriculum to support building renewal while coaching non-profit housing providers through retrofit projects. He is driven by a passion for affordable housing, the desire to help others, and a sense of accomplishment when people have access to safer, healthier housing. Outside of work, Ian has a family of five, whom he enjoys taking outdoors mountain biking, skiing, and hiking.

Bryan Decontie, President, DHN

Bryan is an Anishinabe from Kitigan Zibi. He has been working in the First Nation housing policy environment for over 13 years. He started his career by promoting and developing homeownership models in First Nation communities to later expand his field of expertise to social housing programs, training, and developing comprehensive housing policies tailored to local preferences.

Bryan envisioned and founded a policy and governance group for First Nation governments that aims to put an end to 500 years of economic, social, and political disparities between the rest of Canada and First Nations’ so that our children may benefit from the same freedom of choice and opportunities within their communities as every other Canadian. Its seeks to do this by providing high end policies in the field of housing to communities through innovation and setting the bar of excellence on industry practices. His conviction is founded on his desire to provide his son with a better future than the one he inherited from his father, and he, from his own father.

Colin Doylend, Director, Corporate Relations, NEXII Building Solutions Inc

Over the last fifteen years, Colin has represented the interests of Indigenous communities, industry, and government towards building legacies of economic wealth that foster traditions, culture, and environmental stewardship. Through his experience with modular constriction during time with Metric Modular (formerly Britco Construction) and as a certified social housing manager (CertCIH), Colin is most proud of his work with the Yale First Nation, where they developed ten affordable housing units that were built to the Passive House construction standard - the energy efficient homes funded by either INAC or the CHMC for an Indigenous community in Canada. Today, Colin is a part of a new building technology, start-up called NEXII, patented whole building solution featuring a proprietary, ultra-lightweight high-performance structural layers with an expanded insulating and bonded core. It is fire-safe, waterproof, critter/insect resistant, mould resistant, earthquake/hurricane resilient, featuring superior sound dampening and surpasses Passive House energy efficiency performance levels, building up to twenty-four stories in 75% less time - all at the same price of wood-frame construction.

Paul Girard, President, Polar Maxima Inc.

Paul Girard is a Red Seal carpenter with over 30 years of experience in energy efficient construction in Quebec and the Yukon. He is the President of Polar Maxima, a company specializing in the distribution of green construction products and building homes. Paul worked for 12 years in the Yukon where he mastered the art of reducing energy needs in extreme cold climates by 60 to 90%. While north of 60, he visited many communities in the three territories and learned firsthand about the ongoing housing problems faced by indigenous populations living in northern and Arctic regions. Determined to make a difference, Paul developed a concept of easy to assemble, durable and energy efficient DIY kit homes. The kit homes were originally intended to offer a community-oriented housing solution for indigenous people, especially in remote and isolated areas. Part of Paul’s mission today is to empower indigenous communities to participate in building healthy, sustainable and culturally appropriate housing.

Paul has spoken at the Canada Green Building Council’s annual conference, before the Austrian Research Promotion Council and at ECOSPHERE Canada about sustainable housing in cold climates.

Vince Klyne, National Key Account Manager, Indigenous and Northern Housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Vince Klyne works for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and is the National Key Account Manager, Indigenous and Northern Housing Solutions. Vince has over 15 years of experience working with Indigenous communities to support their efforts to take care and control of their housing, build new and improve existing housing, and to further enhance capacity and skills to manage and maintain all aspects of housing. Before this, he was the Regional Manager, First Nation Housing East (QC & ATL) and Manager, Aboriginal Capacity Development in the Atlantic. Vince also gained experience working with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) as a Housing Advisor and as an Indian Registration Specialist. Vince was born and raised in Winnipeg, MB and is a proud member of Peguis First Nation.

Denise Smith, Lands Manager & Legislator, Tla'amin Nation

Denise Smith (Kwyem Tomolx) Kwyem Tomolx – Speaks for her people – granted to her by the Tla’amin elders. Denise is from the Tla’amin Nation (formerly known as Sliammon). She has been the first and only woman Chief in her community and has served on Council for over 25 years. She served as the Senior Negotiator for Treaty Negotiations focusing on Lands and Resource Chapters of the Tla’amin Final Agreement. Upon completion of the Treaty, she led the development of laws related to Lands and Resources. Tla’amin became a self-governing Nation on April 5, 2016 – one of only 4 modern day treaties completed in British Columbia. Denise is currently a member of the Legislature and is employed as the Lands/Referrals Manager – overseeing Land grants to its Citizens, which is occurring for the first time in Tla’amin history.

Paula Stewart, Indigenous Housing, Tla'amin Nation

Paula spent the first 15 years of her professional career in the Financial Industry gaining experience at CIBC in various roles all the way from Customer Service Representative to Financial Advisor and Branch Manager and Compliance officer. Almost six years ago Paula changed paths from a corporate work environment to a role where she could feel better about her day to day role in society, looking to focus on bettering the quality of people’s lives. She was hired to put the rental program in place and oversee the over 300 homes and the entire Housing Program at Tla’amin Nation. She is responsible for all aspects of Housing, seeking funding and financial options for the Nation and members to renovate, buy and build homes. This is a very challenging and rewarding position. Paula has spearheaded the creation of the Tla’amin Residential Tenancy Law and is currently assisting in updating the policies that pertain to housing. She sits on multiple housing related boards and is a member of the selection committee for the new Supportive Housing Unit in the City of Powell River.

Josee Levesque, Advisor, Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services

Josee has been working with Inuit and First Nations communities for 7 years. Her focus has been on social housing, wellness, mental health and suicide prevention. Josee developed and implemented a social development program in Nunavik aiming to provide Inuit communities with a safer and better living environment in the social housing context. She has worked on the negotiation of the new tri-tripartite agreement and on how to define social housing for Inuit (where are we going 40 years later? What needs to be changed?). She has also been traveling and advocating for fair and better access to education, social housing and to prevent suicide in the communities for the past 3 years. Josee is passionate about the work she is doing and believes housing (social or semi-private) is at the heart and the key to providing Inuit and First Nations with better and equal chance of success in life. It's also a big concern and very determinant when it comes to suicide prevention and mental health, and so it is for public health. Josee is originally from Madawaska, New-Brunswick and is living in Nunavik. She studies Psychology, MBA, Communications and Indigenous Studies.

Cliff Grant, Indigenous Strategic Initiatives, Aboriginal Housing Management Association

Cliff Grant is responsible for Indigenous Strategic Relations at the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA). In this role Cliff works with 42 Indigenous housing providers province wide to ensure quality and successful management of these housing initiatives. AHMA is the first Indigenous Housing Authority in Canada and was created for the Indigenous community by the Indigenous community. AHMA works In direct partnership with the Province of BC and is the leading voice advocating for the needs of Indigenous Housing Providers and the Indigenous communities they serve. AHMA will manage the operating contracts for the new projects developed under the Indigenous Housing Fund. Cliff holds an EMBA Candidate in Aboriginal Business and Leadership from Simon Fraser University. Throughout his career Cliff has worked at various levels of government, including Provincial and Federal in the areas of policy analysis, capacity development and Indigenous relations. Cliff has been working in housing related roles for over 16 years and is passionate about developing best practice for Non-profit Organizations and Indigenous housing providers. Cliff Is originally from Kitimat. BC and is a proud member of the Haisla nation, he currently resides in Vancouver, BC.

Saide Sayah, Program Manager, Affordable Housing Branch, Housing Services, Community and Social Services Department, City of Ottawa

Saide Sayah is a City Planner and the Program Manager of the Affordable Housing Branch, in Housing Services, in the City of Ottawa and has been working in the urban planning and affordable housing fields for more than 20 years. He has a Masters in Urban Planning from Queen’s University and is responsible for developing affordable housing programs for the City. Saide is also a part time faculty member of the Algonquin College Bachelor of Building Science Program.

[   Register |  Day 1 |  Day 2 |  Speakers |  Venue |  Agenda (PDF)   ]



Land use planning decisions have a long lasting impact on your community. Determining the most appropriate use of land and water in your region while being mindful of promoting sound infrastructure planning, environmental protections, economic development and community safety requires a proactive approach. You must stay abreast of the latest best practices, identify the required skills to nurture at your organization, and understand how to plan according to the best interests of your community.

INFONEX's Indigenous Community Land Use and Environment Planning will provide you with indigenous-led expertise, story sharing, and practical guidance to developing your land use plan, considerations for legal and regulatory oversight, and tool-kits for balancing demands between economic development and conservation. Included will be other land use concerns such as cultural management, contamination research sampling, water issues, and models for working with developers that protect your interests.

Learn from Chiefs and Indigenous Land Use Practitioners first hand as they incorporate the wisdom of the Elders in their land use plans, develop their natural resource laws inspired by traditional knowledge, protect the resources in their territories, build in-house capacity for environmental science, indigenous environmental law and economic development knowledge. Also, hear from land use consultants and lawyers as they address the challenges and opportunities they are seeing from their clients’ experiences.

As land use and natural resources practitioners, you are on the front line of shaping the future of your community. Embrace this opportunity for sharing and hearing stories from across the region, all unique and reflecting of the local needs. Register today!

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