Garden River First Nation Housing Policy

Housing Policy

Katrin partnered with this community’s Housing Department and leadership to develop the Garden River First Nation Housing Policy and Procedures. The policy has become a valuable tool to:

  • Enhance the delivery of housing programs and services on Garden River land
  • Close gaps and remove barriers in accessing affordable housing
  • Uphold the existing local governance framework
Building Guide

Katrin has also collaborated with the Housing Department to create a Homeowner’s Building Guide – a tool for homeowners who wish to build their home privately on reserve. By engaging in stakeholder consultation, community-based research and content development, the Guide will:

  • Provide practical information that supports homeowners as they embark on their home-building journeys
  • Encourage safer and more energy-efficient homes
  • Support equitable building processes
  • Result in a higher level of satisfaction and empowerment for the homeowner
Community

Garden River First Nation 

Year

2016 – 2019

Deliverables
  • Creation of Housing Policy
  • Independent audit of housing case files
  • Stakeholder consultation and Builder’s Guide development
Garden River First Nation Housing Department

Team visioning session, captured in February, 2017. From left to right: Richard Perrault, Anne Headrick, Charlotte Boissoneau, Greg Solomon and Carrie Zeppa.

Building Lasting Partnerships – Anne Headrick, Garden River First Nation Housing Supervisor

Garden River First Nation is cultivating an innovative and local approach to housing to ensure that all community members have access to safe, affordable and environmentally-friendly homes. Together with our many community stakeholders, we’re designing Ontario’s primary First Nations Homeowner’s Building Guide, a tool that supports Indigenous homeowners in advocating their needs and promoting a more equitable experience during their build.

Garden River

The iconic message of pride and protest displayed on Garden River First Nation’s railroad bridge.

Fort Hope Farm

Fort Hope Farm began as a vision shared between Eabametoong First Nation Elders. This vision sowed a seed that was supported and brought to life by a team of people; the shared values and community voices nurtured the farm into success. Since 2015, Fort Hope Farm has grown from a small community garden to a 12-acre farm and social enterprise, soon to incorporate commercial greenhouse production. Katrin supported the Working Group in procuring funding, honing the vision and facilitating the farm’s development. Fort Hope Farm generated:

  • Job creation
  • Economic development
  • Increased food security
  • Cultural reclemation
  • The positioning of EFN as future leaders of food production in the North 

Fort Hope Farm went on to be provincially recognized through their achievement of the Rural Ontario Leadership Award from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

Community

Eabametoong First Nation

Year

2015 – 2019

Deliverables
  • Project development
  • Capacity building
  • Community planning
  • Economic development
  • Proposal writing and training
  • Monitoring, evaluation & reporting
Fort Hope Farm wins Rural Ontario Leaders Award

Celebrating their OMAFRA award for Fort Hope Farm’s work in combating food insecurity by blending Traditional Knowledge and innovation. With EFN Councillor, Louie Sugarhead, and Farm Manager, Rudy Waboose.

Fort Hope Farm team and volunteers

Team picture, harvesting farm produce. From left to right: Fred Meeseetawageesic, Curan Atlookan, Rudy Waboose, Ryan Oshganeegash, Brent Kukkee, Marlene Atlookan and Fred Meeseetawageesic.

Eabametoong First Nation’s Healing Lodge

By mobilizing knowledge gained from local studies, EFN created many well-being initiatives, including the Healing Lodge Restoration Project. Through a process of community visioning, strategic partnership development and procuring funding, Eabametoong has restored the Healing Lodge so that it can serve as a space to facilitate community well-being. This project:

  • Created local jobs for contractors and woodworkers
  • Served as a skills-training initiative for local Youth
  • Housed community celebrations like the annual Harvest Festival, Land Blessing events and the Back-to-the-Land program
Community

Eabametoong First Nation

Year

2016 – 2017

Deliverables
  • Project development
  • Capacity building
  • Community planning
  • Economic development
  • Proposal writing and training
EABAMETOONG HEALING LODGE RESTORATION PROJECT

Pictured here is the project team staining the exterior of the building.

Eabametoong First Nation’s Restorative Justice Program

Through a process of community planning and partnership development, EFN received funding to develop a Restorative Justice Program –  a system of criminal justice which focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large. This program has run for three years (engaging over thirty Youth), with on a focus on supporting at-risk Youth and their families through reconnecting them back to the Land, connecting with their Elders and participating in Healing Circles. This project:

  • Helped to support at-risk Youth through participation in Circles and providing skills training
  • Preserved the Ojibway culture and wisdom of the Elders through its ‘Land-Based Healing’ program
  • Created local jobs for restorative justice frontline workers and training opportunities 
  • Developed a locally-run Justice Group and accompanying Terms of Reference
Community

Eabametoong First Nation

Year

2016 – 2019

Deliverables
  • Program development
  • Capacity building
  • Community planning
  • Partnership development
  • Monitoring, evaluation & reporting
EABAMETOONG YOUTH KNOWLEDGE

Eabametoong Youth sharing knowledge on the traditional process of cleaning, battering and frying fresh local pickerel. They were generous in sharing stories of personal resilience and hopes for their future and community. From left to right: Alexandra Missewace, Erin Atlookan and Walker Atlookan.

Proposal Writing & Project Planning Workshops

Katrin facilitates proposal writing & project planning workshops to a variety of audiences. These training sessions focus on building capacity in order to:

  • Locate project-appropriate funding
  • Network & develop strategic partnerships
  • Manage time
  • Develop Work Plans
  • Develop Monitoring & Evaluation Plans
  • Develop Project Sustainability Plans
  • Develop Project Budgets
  • Use technical field-specific language
  • Write, edit & develop funding proposals
Proposal Writing and Project Planning with Eabametoong First Nation

Pictured here is an inter-disciplinary team from EFN after a training session. These workshops and training sessions have been delivered to: Eabametoong First Nation, Ginoogmaing First Nation, Garden River First Nation, Wabasemoong First Nation, Six Nations of the Grand River, Constance Lake First Nation, as well as at conferences and for local Not-For-Profit organizations.

National First Nation Housing Conference 2017

Katrin led a proposal writing workshop and training session at the National First Nation Housing Conference on behalf of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), building capacity among First Nation housing officials to develop projects and procure funding.

Advocacy

Katrin is deeply passionate about social and environmental justice, food sovereignty and Indigenous-settler relations. When not practicing in the field, Katrin enjoys teaching, speaking and writing about these issues.

 

Teaching
  • Working with students to use the Indigenous method of ‘Circle’ as a facilitation tool for community planning, social justice and engagement
  • Exploring case studies on capacity building to promote cross-cultural relationships & reconciliation 

Guest lecturer & facilitator for International Development Studies (undergraduate level IDEV4500) – University of Guelph, College of Social and Applied Human Sciences 

Guest lecturer in Advanced Rural Planning (graduate level) – University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design & Rural Development (SEDRD)  

Speaking
  • Circle Workshop Facilitator for the Global Climate Strike, sponsored by the Guelph Wellington Climate Coalition (2019)
  • Speaker at the Six Nations Farmers Association, Six Nations of the Grand River: Farming in Ontario’s Far North, Opportunities & Challenges (2018)
  • Presenter at Sioux Lookout First Nation Health Authority conference on Food Sovereignty: Taking Back Our Food Chain (2018)
  • Speaker & Workshop Facilitator at the National First Nation Housing Conference (2017)
  • Circle Workshop Facilitator for the Inner Transition Group, Sustainability Week: Healing Ourselves, Healing Our Planet (2016)
Publications
  • Sawatzky, K. (2015). Living Transition: Stories of Resilience (A Heuristic Study). ResearchGate.
  • Khan, B., Sawatzky, K., Lauzon, A. (2015). The pedagogy of a found poem: Making the implicit explicit. ResearchGate.
Projects & Additional Resources
The Friendship Feather

Eabametoong First Nation’s Health Director, Robert Baxter, presented Katrin with an eagle’s feather (The Friendship Feather) representing reconciliation. This humbling and generous gesture represents trust between two friends.

Guest Lecturer – School of Environmental Design & Rural Development, University of Guelph

Facilitating ‘Circle’ with graduate students in Advanced Planning at the University of Guelph.

On the Air

Radio host, Sid Okeese, invites Katrin to speak on local Eabametoong radio about Fort Hope Farm, starting tomatoes from seed, their mutual adoration of the Tragically Hip and how strange of a word Guelph is.