March 21, 2019

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Announcing a New Professional First Nations Housing Association

Announcing a New Professional First Nations Housing Association

A new First Nations professional group began work on January 1, 2019. This new group is the First Nations Housing Professionals Association (FNHPA) or Association des professionnels de l’habitation des Premières Nations (APHPN).

The FNHPA is a national not-for-profit voluntary association whose purpose is to provide the means whereby FN housing managers and staff can better serve their communities and clients by developing, promoting and delivering quality standards, practices, certification, education, and by facilitating networking opportunities within the FN housing sector. By doing so, the FNHPA will provide the leadership and services to support housing professionals.

Housing managers have a key role in First Nations communities. They work with leadership, other departments and community members to acquire new housing and ensure the current housing stock is maintained. Each First Nations community requires access to a qualified housing professional. Staff need access to training and experience to plan, finance, build, manage and maintain housing assets.

The FNHPA will play a key role in providing housing staff access to learning opportunities to expand their competencies and get recognition for their expertise. The FNHPA is the organization to lead professional development for First Nations housing across the country.

The FNHPA is not the only First Nations-led association developing capacity for First Nations. The First Nations Health Managers Association (FNHMA) and AFOA Canada are two other high profile, successful, not-for-profit associations. Both are engaged in certification and education activities and have made great strides in advancing professional competencies. The FNHPA’s Board hopes that its new association will, over time, become as relevant and successful as the other two.

The association aims to:

  • develop standards for competency, certification and ethical conduct;
  • provide members with timely, relevant educational products and services to support and enhance the role of First Nations housing professionals;
  • assist with standard setting for First Nations housing matters and the interpretation of and training on these standards;
  • attract members who are proud to belong, have a desire to obtain and maintain a professional housing designation, wish to participate in networks, and are committed to sharing FNHPA’s purpose; and
  • build relationships and partnerships with organizations looking to expand First Nations housing capacity.

The benefits of the FNHPA will lead to:

  • solid skills and management practices of First Nations housing staff, which will improve community housing services;
  • increased community ability to attract and retain housing professionals;
  • training, development and certification;
  • networking support for First Nations housing professionals; and
  • a cultural lens on housing matters.

The founding Board of Directors of the FNHPA was established on Thursday, November 15, 2018. Board members are:  

  • Darlene Marshall, Chair; Eskasoni First Nation, NS
  • Rosie Charles, Vice-Chair; Prince Albert Grand Council, SK
  • Harvey McCue, Secretary Treasurer; McCue Consulting, Ottawa, ON
  • Darlene Chevrier, Director; Timiskaming First Nation, QC
  • Frank French, Director; Chippewas of the Thames, ON
  • Roxanne Harper, Director; Turtle Island Associates, Ottawa, ON
  • Mario LaPointe, Director; Eel River Bar First Nation, NB
  • Sylvia Olsen, Director; Olsen and Olsen Associates / Vancouver Island University, North Saanich, BC

If you know someone involved in First Nations housing activities, share the good news with them. Visit www.fnhpa.ca to follow the FNHPA’s progress as it begins its journey.

For more information, please contact: 
Darlene Marshall, Chair of the Board
Eskasoni First Nation
darlenemarshall[at]eskasoni[dot]ca
or
Christina Mash, Interim Executive Director
christina[at]fnhpa[dot]ca
613-702-0440 / 1-800-360-6114

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