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 for Kanaka Bar’s members, Lytton residents and the surrounding region and all Canadians looking to make their homes resilient to ever-increasing extreme weather events.

News release | Media coverage

Kanaka Bar update

"The Pilot Project to build back better with four different envelopes with various types of fire proof materials has been shelved. Kanaka Bar Indian Band in partnership with SAIT had started the initial feasibility study and first steps to create a safer and more efficient housing solution when it comes to being resilient to what climate change throws our way. Although this work is important to the Kanaka Bar Indian Band, leadership has decided to take a step back and re-evaluate current projects. SAIT and partners have put a lot of work into this project, and we would not like to see that information wasted. Kanaka has given SAIT permission to share what they've learned while researching these fire proof materials. Kanaka will consider the different materials in future builds. We'd like to take this time to thank everyone involved with project, all your hard work and dedication means a lot to our nation. We wish our partners and everyone involved with the pilot project the best of luck with their future endeavors."- Chief Jordan Spinks

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.

Former 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 kilometres south of Lytton in the Fraser Canyon region of British Columbia, there are an average of 80 residents and the population doubles as members 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.

Project phases

Kanada Bar signThe 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.


Helping Kanaka Bar rebuild

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 College

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

Since 2019, Melanie Ross has brought her education, wealth of experience and passion for sustainability and innovation in the cutting-edge world of green building technologies to SAIT.

Her projects have focused on LEED, WELL and other certifications, and a concentration on energy management, sustainability planning and policy development.

Meet our experts

GBT building

Green Building Technologies Access Centre

Our centre focuses on identifying and developing environmentally friendly technologies, processes, programs, systems, and services that will fundamentally change how we build, educate and develop skilled labour.

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

Contact us

Applied Research and Innovation Services

a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.