Kitcisakik village, homes renovation for Algonquin population
Reinforcing local capacities in housing
At Kitcisakik in Canada
From 2010 to 2015
By Architecture Sans Frontières Québec - Canada
Local partners: Kitcisakik, , SHQ, APNQL and Fondation Frontières
Donors: Goodfellow, Soprema, BMR and Sico
The Anishinaabe community in Kitcisakik had been living in dilapidated housing, which was impacting the well-being of its 500 members. Like many other Aboriginal communities in Quebec, the Anishinaabe were facing housing conditions that included a lack of space, lack of running water and electricity, dependence on fossil fuels and insufficient insulation and airtightness in their buildings. In 2008, Guillaume Lévesque, who was impacted by this situation, garnered the ASFQ’s support to design a project that solicited local community involvement, along with that of volunteers and local professionals. In September 2009, the work began with the support of Fondation Frontières and several manufacturing-sector sponsors. In December, the federal government announced substantial support to support renovations and compensate 20 Aboriginal workers for a three-year period. This participative architectural process combined training, reinforcing local capacities, and consideration of traditions including the use of materials associated with the Anishinaabe identity. In 2012, the project was awarded the Governor General’s Medal for Architecture in Canada. The network developed helps break the isolation, value traditional skills, allow members of the community to access the labour market and, most importantly, boost the pride of families in Kitcisakik.