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A new form of housing in Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation is being hailed as an important step forward in addressing chronic housing issues in First Nations across Canada.
The community just outside of Sudbury, formerly known as Whitefish Lake, unveiled a four-unit complex, the first built with the First Nations Sustainable Development Standard as the guide. Using a new type of concrete, the homes are resistant to mold and fire, and were built using non-toxic materials.
Developed in partnership with several groups – including the Mike Holmes Foundation and the Assembly of First Nations – the standard is more than just a building code. Irving Leblanc, the associate director of housing, infrastructure and emergency issues with the Assembly of First Nations, said the code encompasses a range of issues.
“It’s not just about how you build a house, it’s how you build a community, how you plan a community and move it away from flood plains,” Leblanc said at the July 11 ceremony unveiling the new units. “It’s a great document that really looks at all aspects of community planning.”
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