Meeting Summary March 9, 2015
SPEAKER:                  Jay Thaker, National Manager, Aboriginal Housing Program
TOPIC:                       "Statement of Understanding" between Habitat for Humanity and the Assembly of First Nations of Canada 
INTRODUCED BY:    Vivian Pengelly
THANKED BY:           Jackie Dearden
Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, non-profit organization working toward a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. Their mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to break the cycle of poverty in Canada and around the world.
Habitat for Humanity Canada introduced Aboriginal Housing Program in 2007 as a Pilot program and seeks to better understand the distinct housing challenges faced by Aboriginal Peoples, expanding affordable homeownership possibilities for low-income Aboriginal families.  Building on the initial success under the Aboriginal Housing Program Pilot (AHP), Habitat for Humanity Canada formalized its Aboriginal Housing Program in 2012. Following the official launch of AHP, the program has capitalized on new partnerships; and Habitat affiliates have partnered with over 80 Aboriginal families to help them realize affordable homeownership.
A total of 119 Aboriginal families have partnered with Habitat since 2007; and 33% of these homes are build in partnership with Aboriginal housing groups and Aboriginal communities. The Aboriginal partners’ contribution includes providing Habitat access to land, and housing units on retrofit projects for transformation of rental housing stock in to Habitat’s affordable homeownership.
Although most of these homes have been built in urban areas; increasingly efforts are being made to work with Aboriginal communities on their Traditional Territories; and affiliates are experiencing some success.
Historic moments during 2014 included:
•             Celebration of 100th Aboriginal partnership home being built by Habitat Edmonton at Slave Lake, Alberta;
•             Launch of first “on Reserve project”- Habitat Lloydminster partnered with Flying Dust First Nation to build an Elders’ Lodge and to retrofit vacated homes for younger families.
Habitat for Humanity Lloydminster in partnership has launched a historic project with Flying Dust First Nation. The partnership is taking a comprehensive approach to resolve the shortfall of housing in a sustained manner by constructing a much needed Elder’s Lodge. Then underutilized Elders’ and Band homes will be retrofitted for younger families to realize their dream of homeownership. The concept of “housing continuum”, which Canadian households take for granted, does not currently exist on First Nation Land.
The project will provide First Nations members:
•             Opportunities for youth to obtain training and skills in construction
•             Enhanced awareness for maintenance and management of homes
•             Community pride through volunteerism to give back.
AUCTION GIFT:     Donated by Khurston Bullock and won by Rotarian Bob Little
ITEMS OF INTEREST:     Continue to be involved in the One Hour a Month Volunteer Program; will be looking for other programs in the City to become involved with.
                                          Help support the Border City Club with their 'Work and Leisure Raffle'; tickets are $100.00 each
                                          Rotary Leadership Program - scheduled for Saturday, May 9th 9:00 - 4:00 p.m.  Cost $50.00 per person
                                          This would be a good workshop for new Rotarians, but we welcome everyone.\
THANK YOU - to Greg Hilderman for filling in as Sergeant this week, using his usual humor while extracting a few dollars from those present.
SPEAKER NEXT WEEK:  Pat Varga & Wayne Williams (Royal Canadian Legion)  
                                          Many soldiers have trouble adjusting to civilian life once they leave the service and frequently turn to drinking or drugs.  Too often this trend can lead
                                          to homelessness.   Pat and Wayne will talk about the "Leaving the Streets Behind" program as well as the Wounded Warrior fundraiser in the City in May.
That's all for this week.
Yours in Rotary