December 11, 2015 3:26 pm
Updated: March 21, 2019 1:52 pm

Activists building tiny home for Sask. First Nation family

Watch above: Could mini homes be a solution to First Nation housing needs? Idle No More is teaming up with a Winnipeg company to send one to the Big River First Nation.

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SASKATOON – Some indigenous activists have come up with a unique way to help one First Nations family. They’ve partnered with a Manitoba company to make a tiny home. Once it’s finished it will be hauled to Big River First Nation, northwest of Prince Albert, Sask.

“There’s some pretty appalling housing conditions, and we’ve known this,” said Dr. Raven Sinclair, who’s a professor with the faculty of Social Work at the University of Regina. “But when you actually see it first-hand, it’s pretty significant,” she told Global News.

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Sinclair said the plan started when Idle No More co-founder Sylvia McAdam saw some concerning housing conditions on the Big River First Nation, her home community.

“She saw three families in pretty bad conditions and decided to start up a campaign, and so she set up an Indiegogo page and other people have gotten involved,” said Sinclair.

And the “One House Many Nations” campaign is taking off. They’ve already raised over $15,000, mostly in small donations between five and 25 dollars.

They’re partnering with Winnipeg company, Mini Homes of Manitoba, to build a tiny home.

“They’re going to help us build one of the homes, and they’re volunteering their labour, which is pretty amazing,” said Sinclair.

The mini home is going to be suited for a northern environment.

“The one we’re currently working on is going to have solar panels, it’s going to have a composting toilet, it’s going to have in-floor heating, it’s going to have a wood stove, with a coil system that actually heats the water,” said Sinclair. “So the idea is that people will be in housing where they’re maybe not on the grid, so costs are really reduced,” she explained.

It will be about 16 feet long, and 8 feet wide.

From the 16×9 archives: Are tiny homes the answer to affordable housing?

Sinclair is one of a number of people who will be heading to Winnipeg to help build it.

“I’ve been thinking for a long time that it’s one thing to be an armchair activist … but I like to build and renovate,” she said. “So I’m going to get in my vehicle with my tools and head over there next week and help,” she said.

Sinclair added they still need to raise a little more money to haul the home from Winnipeg to Big River.

The group hopes to build at least three homes – and hopes that it can be the start of something bigger to improve housing for First Nation.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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