Dr. Nemy Banthia and Irving Leblanc at First Nations Focus Group

On July 17, 2018, IC-IMPACTS and the Assembly of First Nations co-hosted a Focus Group on Innovation in Design & Construction of First Nations Housing.

Picture of Dr. Nemy Banthia discussing housing issue
Dr. Nemy Banthia, CEO and Scientific Director, IC-IMPACTS

The focus group brought together prominent members of First Nations communities, leaders in the housing industry, and university researchers with the aim to launch a working group and a call for proposals.

“Our goal is to identify key housing issues that First Nations communities face, and understand cultural and social aspects that influence their housing needs,” said Dr. Nemy Banthia (seen above left), CEO and Scientific Director, IC-IMPACTS. “We are committed to using this knowledge to design low-cost, resilient, and energy-efficient housing innovations for use in a First Nations community. We’re also aiming to establish a First Nations working group on housing innovations that will inform our initiatives.”

Picture of Barj Dhahan, Board Chair, IC-IMPACTS presenting during focus group
Barj Dhahan, Board Chair, IC-IMPACTS

Barj Dhahan, Board Chair, IC-IMPACTS affirmed this commitment. “Safe and adequate housing is a basic human need and, I believe, a human right as well. IC-IMPACTS is committed to working together with researchers and First Nations communities in finding innovative solutions to support transformative and sustainable approaches to providing safe, secure, and affordable housing.”

IC-IMPACTS’ First Nations Research Strategy

Picture of Shapoor Marfatia, COO, IC-IMPACTS
Shapoor Marfatia, COO, IC-IMPACTS

After a day of constructive discussion, Shapoor Marfatia, COO, IC-IMPACTS closed the focus group by noting IC-IMPACTS’ research to address challenges faced by First Nations communities, such as one initiative that saw the development of a mobile water treatment system for Lytton First Nation in British Columbia. He outlined IC-IMPACTS’ five-pronged First Nations Research Strategy:

  1. Bring together world-renowned experts.
  2. Hold a Focus Group to guide the process.
  3. Launch an effective research call.
  4. Identify and partner with one or more host communities for research and demonstration.
  5. Build a sustainable model for continuous improvements.
Participants seated at table, at IC-IMPACTS and Assembly of First Nations Focus Group on Housing
Participants at the IC-IMPACTS and Assembly of First Nations Focus Group on Housing Innovations, held in Ottawa, July 2018