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Katrin Sawatzky, M.Sc.

Capacity Development & Indigenous Housing Specialist

For Katrin, relationships are at the heart of her practice. With a holistic approach to policy development, planning, knowledge mobilization and consultation, Katrin honours Indigenous methodologies built on ceremony, respect and reciprocity.

Areas of work range from: Indigenous housing (developing locally-based policies and programs that increase the quality, rights and access to housing on-reserve), to addressing well-being and its intersection with economic development, food security and cultural reclamation. Katrin also specializes in program planning, management and evaluation, while taking an integrated, collaborative and mentorship approach with her clients. Katrin’s funding proposals have resulted in over $30 million, which has led to improved community infrastructure, green energy initiatives, Indigenous women’s shelters and transitional homes, housing policies & programs, food security and capacity building opportunities. 

Katrin also partners with communities and Indigenous-led organizations to design and facilitate proposal-writing training packages and curriculum. Since 2018, Katrin has held a partnership with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as a trainer for Indigenous Housing representatives, supporting in the development of First Nation housing policies and funding/loan advancement. She is also a member of CMHC’s Expert Community on Housing and the Indigenous Clean Energy Network.

When not practicing in the field, Katrin guest lectures on campuses and presents at conferences about her work in policy, planning and advocacy.

The Circle

A powerful framework for deep communication, Circle is an ancient Indigenous practice that brings people together to understand one another, make decisions, solve problems and build community. Katrin incorporates elements of Circle into her planning and relational work on a daily basis. Circle has resonated with Katrin as a profound tool and symbol for reconciliation, wholeness and an understanding that answers present themselves in the process.

“When a community can draw on and trust its own inner resources to discover the validity of a new paradigm, the community is liberated from old, embedded, fixated ways of being in the world. People are empowered to imagine new ways of being, to problem-solve on a deep level. In this way, a community can truly take hold of its future – and its past. Together, the gathered people can soar with their dreams, weep over their losses, and be free to gather together beyond differences of opinion.”

Rhea Y. Millerexcerpt from Cloudhand, Clenched Fist