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Housing in itself is not rocket science. Homes are built every day from the ground up. What differentiates housing on reserve is not only the quality but the circumstances surrounding the construction.
Craig pinpointed these factors using real-life examples identifying the Indian Act as a detriment to quality housing.
About the speaker:
Craig Blacksmith has over 30 years of experience dealing with Indian Affairs, on reserve housing and was also employed by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation early in his career.
From his days as a member of the Sioux Valley Housing Committee in 1990 to present day advocate for native people, Craig has gathered and maintained a catalogue of on reserve housing issues that factor specifically with Indigenous Services Canada and implementation of Indian Act directives.
In 1995 Craig was also part of a tripartite committee involving Indian Reserves, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Indian Affairs set up in an attempt to streamline housing allocations.
Craig graduated from Crocus Plains Regional Secondary High School in 1990 and made attempts to further his education with university and college.
Craig’s experience in on reserve housing is extensive and intricate. From design, engineering and tendering to inspections, construction supervision and budgeting.
Craig has experience with ISC funded housing projects as well as CMHC Section 95, Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP), Emergency Repair Program, their benefits and disadvantages.
Craig also has an in-depth knowledge of the Indian Act and its legal issues as a trust. One of the biggest misconceptions about the Indian Act is who it serves. The Indian Act is the single most obstacle to on reserve housing.
In presentations held across the country, Craig keeps the audience informed and entertained with stories from his experiences over the years along with factual information that is not well known to the general public.
Dakota Oyate Elder/Knowledge Keeper