VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The First Nations Housing & Infrastructure Council of British Columbia (HIC) is hosting a two-day forum for BC First Nations housing and infrastructure representatives and federal and provincial governments to gain further input that will help frame the future Housing & Infrastructure Authority.

Our Place, Our Future: Designing A First Nations Housing & Infrastructure Authority Forum 2019 is being held March 5 and 6, 2019 in Richmond, BC. Participants will provide detailed input into the core directives, governance, financial relationships, integration of on and off reserve, and other design elements of the future authority.

HIC is leading development of a First Nations-controlled housing and infrastructure authority in British Columbia, designed for First Nations, by First Nations. Designing a community-based housing and infrastructure model with the input of BC’s First Nations is fundamental to HIC’s work. HIC is engaging First Nations communities and organisations across BC to ensure their experience, expertise and best practices contribute to the model for service delivery.

In addition to the forum, HIC is holding regional engagement sessions in First Nation communities across the province to further refine the design of the new delivery model and additional details to inform an agreement that transfers housing and infrastructure authorities (including programs and services) from the federal government to the new BC authority.

“HIC is embarking on a new path to Indigenous self-governance after more than a century, writing a new chapter that will see British Columbia First Nations assume control over their own housing design and delivery. This initiative is part of a national movement mandated by Canada’s Indigenous leaders. HIC is leading the initiative in British Columbia with a mandate from BC First Nations leadership while the BC First Nations community is shaping development of the future authority along every step of the journey,” says Chief Dan George, Chair of HIC.

Media Interview Opportunities: 
HIC Executive Director Garry Merkel will be available by phone to media to provide insight into HIC’s mandate and an update on HIC’s work to date.