Poster Presentation: A Roof Over their Heads: Integrating traditional knowledge into a new building code for first nations communities in Canada

First Nations communities across Canada face many environmental challenges, including accessibility to potable water, reliable road and highway connections outside of their reserves, and proper housing. Our poster will explore the challenges that our First Nations communities in Canada face with respect to residential infrastructure. Many First Nations homes are built with inexpensive materials, such as plywood and drywall, that are inappropriate for the climate. This can lead to mold infestation, health issues, and structural decay over a relatively short time period. We propose a change to existing standards that would enable First Nations communities to incorporate traditional knowledge within standardized building codes. These revised building codes would provide communities with the opportunity to incorporate building materials from the surrounding natural environment into housing infrastructure. The adoption of low carbon, locally abundant, and natural materials will ensure that our First Nations communities face an uncertain climate future with a more solid ‘roof over their heads.’


  • Megan Morey, Hayden Neilsen, Ashley Prince, James Reive, students from Ecosystem Management Technology Program, Fleming College