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April 26, 2004
Seabird Island project demonstrates sustainable housing on reserves
VANCOUVER, BC-The Seabird Island First Nation sustainable community development project, officially opened April 16 in Agassiz, demonstrates an innovative approach to improving housing and community development for Aboriginals living on reserves in Canada. The unique development was carried out through a partnership between federal government agencies (including Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)) and the Seabird Island First Nation. For the first time, renewable technologies including wind generation, solar and geo-thermal heating, Healthy Housing(tm), FlexHousing(tm), rainscreen technology and sustainable community planning have been brought together to create sustainable leading-edge housing. The houses, which have a projected lifespan of 100 years, will offer the advantages of reduced maintenance, heating and electricity costs due to the advanced technology. Seabird Island First Nation, a member of the Sto:lo Nation, is one of the largest First Nation in the Fraser Valley. Since 1975, the registered membership of the band has more than doubled from 316 to 720 members. The band was selected for this project because of site accessibility to major transportation routes, their commitment to sustainable development and their in-house construction capabilities (all seven units were built by the band).