The Lakehead Social Planning Council’s Poverty Reduction Strategy has coordinated the Tiny Homes Thunder Bay Committee since its inception in 2018 beginning with a small partnership with the City of Thunder Bay. Since then, the Committee has grown and LSPC works collectively with many organizations and businesses to move the Tiny Home project forward.

Matawa First Nations Management is a partner in the Tiny Homes Thunder Bay Committee, as directed by its Chiefs Council and Board of Directors resolutions to support the Tiny Home Village in Thunder Bay. They want to pursue strategies that address Indigenous homelessness in Thunder Bay, youth employment and replicating a Tiny Home project in their First Nations.

KZ Lodge North Program

The Lakehead Social Planning Council is managing the CMHC funding that is supporting the Indigenous youth in the KZ Lodge North Program. The knowledge gained through this program will provide training and learning opportunities for the youth that could lead to employment.

The specialized land-based Alternative Secondary School Program, KZ Lodge North, offers support to students, and includes educational programming related to Indigenous land-based learning and life skill building. KZ Lodge is a short form for the Kendomang Zhagodenamnon Lodge. This program is offered in partnership with Lakehead Public Schools and the Thunder Indigenous Friendship Centre.

Smart Modular Canada provided onsite training and guidance throughout the whole building process. Before training began, students had the opportunity to tour the new 76,000-square-foot facility to get a thorough understanding of the building process from beginning to end. Smart Modular Canada employs 60 people, many of whom are Indigenous and the company’s customer base is nearly all First Nation communities.

To be a part of an initiative focused on helping Indigenous youth become leaders in a First Nations-led project is a proud moment for Smart Modular Canada and its employees.

The Home Depot Canada Foundation has provided funding through its Youth Opportunity grant dedicated to preventing and ending youth homelessness in Canada through housing, prevention, and employment programs, including housing transformation, healthy pathways (prevention), and youth innovation, which include youth-led initiatives and education programs.

Photos of graduates who participated in the KZ Lodge Program to learn trades with Lisa MacLeod (teaching manager of the program).