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Kanaka Bar Resilient Housing Solutions Pilot Project

Helping Kanaka Bar rebuild

The Kanaka Bar Indian Band is partnering with 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 Kanaka Bar Resilient Housing Solutions project is a community-led and community-driven initiative. SAIT is leading a collaborative team with participants from Okanagan College, Foresight Canada and Seko Construction for over 10 months to create foundational options for rebuilding in the Lytton region.

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.

News release

Media Coverage



Kanaka bar lower build site

“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

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.

Kanada Bar sign

Project phases

The applied research project leverages the expertise and reach of the team to issue an immediate call for commercially-approved Canadian housing building materials, technology providers and product options. Phases include:

  • Applied research and community engagement led by Patrick Michell, Chief of the Kanaka Bar Indian Band, 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 issued by Foresight Canada 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.

Foresight Canada

“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

“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 College

Seko Construction

“Clearly the most challenging health and safety issue faced today by First Nations is the urgent need to effectively address the quality and standard of on-reserve housing. This innovative initiative will bring about the much needed, and long-awaited solution, for countless Indigenous communities and their memberships.” — Peter Shoulak, Vice President, Seko Construction (Vancouver) Ltd.

SAIT research team lead

Build what’s next

Being a solution provider with industry is part of SAIT’s history. Whatever your organization’s vision, we’d love to help you get there. Connect with our team in Applied Research and Innovation Services. Project inquiries can be directed to gbt@sait.ca

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