logoMedia Release

Partners launch resilient housing solutions project at
Kanaka Bar to assist
with rebuild of fire-ravaged Lytton,
B.C., region

Kanaka Bar Indian Band, SAIT, Okanagan College, Foresight Canada and
Seko Construction partner to harness innovation to provide options for the
rebuild of the region

Kanaka Bar, B.C. (Jan. 13, 2022) — Patrick Michell, Chief of the Kanaka Bar
Indian Band, announced today they have entered into an agreement with the
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) on a pilot project focused on
climate-resilient housing options for evacuees who lost their homes in the June 30,
2021 Lytton, B.C., wildfire. The project is expected to reveal sustainable new build
and retrofitting solutions not only for Kanaka Bar’s members, Lytton residents and
the surrounding region, but also all Canadians looking to make their homes resilient
to ever-increasing extreme weather events.

The Kanaka Bar Resilient Housing Solutions project is a community-led and
community-driven initiative. The project will see SAIT leading a collaborative team
with participants from Okanagan College, Foresight Canada and Seko Construction
over 10 months to create foundational options for rebuilding in the Lytton region.
The applied research project leverages the expertise and reach of the team to issue
an immediate call for commercially approved, Canadian housing building material
technology providers/product options. The pilot project will include the design and
build of four to eight homes to test and validate material properties, climate
resiliency, energy performance and affordability. The goal is to develop a suite of
viable options for the region, and other communities, throughout medium and longterm rebuilding activities.

This agreement showcases the leadership of Kanaka Bar and their desire to help the
greater Lytton region and beyond. The project brings together leading polytechnic
institutions from western Canada and Foresight, Canada’s cleantech accelerator, to
create an unbiased, multi-disciplinary team of experts that will assess the long-
term needs of the greater region and develop a plan for the future. The vision is to
build more resilient structures and address future climate impacts with meaningful

The Kanaka Bar Resilient Housing Solutions project involves several phases:
• Applied research and community engagement led by Chief Michell and SAIT’s
Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS), specifically its Green
Building Technologies (GBT) division, in collaboration with Okanagan College,
Foresight and Seko Construction.

• An Innovation Challenge will be issued by Foresight and SAIT to source
resilient and sustainable commercially available solutions and construction
products needed to rebuild housing structures. The solutions will meet the
criteria for BC Step code 5 with respect to fire/water/wind resiliency, energy
efficiency, long-term sustainability and affordability.
• After selection of the Innovation Challenge winners, the initial phase of the
project will conclude with the construction of four to eight housing structures
ready for occupancy by September 2022.

“We are delighted to bring together leaders in applied research and innovation to
tackle the urgent need to build back our region. We are combining the power of our
community with the latest building practices to ensure new housing and its
supporting systems, as well as older buildings in the region are made sustainable
and climate-resilient.”

— Chief Patrick Michell, Kanaka Bar Indian Band

“The Kanaka Bar Resilient Housing Solutions project will be a truly collaborative
effort. It will bring together communities, institutions and innovative solution
providers. This will impact all Canadians, especially for our hardest hit neighbours in
B.C., through public sharing of the processes and innovations used in the project.”
— Mark Butler, Interim Vice President Corporate Development, Applied
Research and International, SAIT

“Foresight is pleased to bring our proven successful Innovation Challenges model to
this critical effort. We will tap into our extensive network of cleantech ventures in
the built environment space to help source solutions that will help rebuild this
community on a solid foundation of sustainability, resiliency, and adaptation.”
— Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Foresight Canada

“Okanagan College is looking forward to being involved with this innovative and
collaborative applied research project. This project will provide learners, educators,
industry and community with real-world opportunities to pool their skills, knowledge
and expertise, in the pursuit of a highly important and beneficial cause.”
— Dr. Andrew Hay, Provost and Vice President Academic, Okanagan

“Clearly the most challenging health and safety issue faced today by First Nations,
throughout all points of Canada, is the urgent need to effectively address the
quality and standard of on-reserve housing that unfortunately, has plagued
Indigenous leadership, and government, for decades. Attached to this ongoing crisis
is the issue of affordability as value for dollar is equally critical. We at Seko
Construction, commend Chief Michell and the Kanaka Bar Indian Band for providing
us the opportunity to participate in this exciting endeavour and we have the utmost
confidence that this innovative initiative will bring about the much needed, and
long-awaited solution, for countless Indigenous communities and their
— Peter Shoulak, Vice President, Seko Construction (Vancouver) Ltd.

About Kanaka Bar Indian Band
Kanaka Bar Indian Band, also known as "T'eqt''aqtn'mux" or "the crossing place
people,” is one of 15 Indigenous communities that make up the Nlaka’pamux
Nation. For more than 7000 years, Kanaka's Traditional Territory sustained
its people. Located 14 kilometers south of Lytton in the Fraser Canyon region of
British Columbia, there are an average of 80 residents and the population doubles
as membership return home in the summer to visit, fish, gather and reconnect with
the land. Committed to using its lands and resources to maintain a self-sufficient,
sustainable, and vibrant community not just for today but for the environment and
economy of tomorrow, Kanaka Bar has invested in community and climate
resilience for years, including a variety of FireSmart initiatives. In 2021, The
Kanaka Bar Community Resilience Plan was voted “Top Project of the Year” by 130
sustainability leaders at the Clean50 Summit held in Toronto.
For more information on Kanaka Bar and what they are doing and why – visit the
community website at kanakabarband.ca and view their most recent video at:

About SAIT
Established in 1916, SAIT was the first publicly funded technical school of its kind in
North America. Today, SAIT is a global leader in applied education and research,
serving more than 50,000 students annually. SAIT offers certificate, diploma, post
diploma, apprenticeship and applied degree programs, baccalaureate degrees,
corporate training and more than 1,000 continuing education courses as well as six
dedicated and award-winning research areas. Curriculum and research at SAIT is
developed through industry partnerships to ensure graduates and industry have the
skills and knowledge required in the workplace. SAIT is honoured to be selected by
Mediacorp Canada Inc. as one of Alberta’s Top Employers for 2021, and to be
ranked seventh in Research Infosource Inc.’s Top 50 Research Colleges in Canada
for 2020.

SAIT is situated on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy. The City
of Calgary encompasses a region the Blackfoot tribes of Southern Alberta described
as Moh’kinsstis, meaning ‘Elbow,’ in reference to its location at the confluence of
the Bow and Elbow rivers. Since time immemorial, this region was a traditional
gathering place for the tribes of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Today, the traditional
territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy encompasses the Indigenous people of the
Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta: the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the
Tsuut’ina, the Stoney Nakoda First Nations and the Northwest Métis Homeland —
Region 3. sait.ca

Connect with us:
facebook.com/SAIT      twitter.com/SAIT      Instagram.com/SAIT

About Foresight
Foresight is Canada’s cleantech accelerator. Foresight supports the identification
and validation of cleantech opportunities and the successful commercialization of
solutions. We bring together industry, government, academia, investors, and
innovators to address today’s most urgent climate issues and support a global
transition to a green economy. Find out more at www.foresightcac.com. Follow on
Twitter @ForesightCAC.

About Okanagan College
Serving the beautiful Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen valleys, Okanagan
College has campuses in Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm and a centre in
Revelstoke. We live and work in the unceded territories of the Syilx-Okanagan,
Secwepemc, Ktunaxa, and Sinixt. We honour, work with, learn from, and listen to
Indigenous communities. Okanagan College delivers more than 150 programs to
more than 17,000 learners (approx. 8,000 full-time equivalent students) each year.
The College’s program array spans trades and apprenticeship, business, health and
social development, arts, science, engineering technologies, food, wine and
tourism, adult basic education and continuing studies programs. More information
about Okanagan College and its programs and services for students can be found
at www.okanagan.bc.ca

About Seko Construction
Seko Construction (Vancouver) Ltd., a member of the Permasteel Group of
Companies, has been one of Western Canada’s premier design-build contractors
since 1953. With offices in Ft. McMurray, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver, we
are very active throughout Western Canada and specialize in remote construction.
Our expertise lies in working with First Nation Communities and private businesses
across Western Canada to align budget, expectations and design to ensure
successful projects. www.sekoconstruction.com

For additional information, please contact:
Chris Gerritsen
Acting Director of Communications

Kanaka Bar Band:
Julia Munro
Engagement Coordinator

Okanagan College:
Tyler Finley
Interim Director, Public Affairs
Okanagan College

Foresight Canada:
Elizabeth Thorsen
VP Operations

Seko Construction:
Peter J. Shoulak
Vice President, Business Development

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