The Wabaseemong Independent First Nation performed a groundbreaking ceremony last Friday in their community for their Green Living Project for Tiny Homes. The ceremony was to officially begin construction on the first of 6 tiny homes.

The ceremony consisted of the communities Elder blessing the area by placing tobacco in the ground alongside the Chief of Wabaseemong Waylon Scott and the contractor Mike Neniska and songs were performed as well. A moment of silence was had in memory of the mass graves found at residential schools across Canada.

“It's definitely something that is needed in sense of more housing needed for the community and also an opportunity for our young ones to be building these houses and hone these skills when it's their turn to either work for the community or when its time for them to build their own homes. It also gives them an opportunity to leave the community with the skills needed to possibility start their own contracting company and the sky is the limit for these kids," said Wabaseemong Independent First Nation Chief Waylon Scott

Greg Meeches Program Coordinator of Wabaseemong Youth Green Living Project for Tiny Homes spoke with Q104 about the entirety of the project.

“The tiny homes will be used to assist members re-entering the community from care or a single parent without a home, as there is a housing shortage in the community. Right now the Tiny Home Project is a pilot program to test the success of the homes,” noted Meeches

Each home will be approximately 24 feet x 24 feet and 480 square feet in size and will be powered by solar panels installed by Raysolar from Kenora, but each will also be hooked up to hydro in case of emergencies.

This project will serve as a training purpose for youth from the community as well as two interns from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMCH). Alongside Mike Neniska Contracting and Raysolar, the kids will learn constructions skills such as carpentry, framing, use of power tools, and the installation of solar panels.

This training will give the youth the tools needed to succeed in future careers as well as the skills to provide for their families.

Andrew Mucale is one of the youth taking a part in the construction of the tiny homes and is looking forward to where the construction skills could take him.

“The carpentry I will be learning, will hopefully lead me to possibly go back to school in the next few years and by the end of the project I hope to have learned basic building knowledge and skills and skills of installing solar panels,” said Mucale

Quincy Carpenter who is a member of the Whitedog community is one of two CMCH interns taking part in the construction and is excited to start.

“It's a great opportunity for the youth and it's great it sees the youth want to learn the basic skills of carpentry. I can say for myself that I’m very excited to be doing this for the community and for solar and green living. It will be interesting for the youth and myself to learn about green living.” says Carpenter

“I love my community, I’m from here. I’m happy to try and help out anywhere I can to help the younger generation succeed,” added Carpenter

Carpenter is looking forward to enhancing his skills in reading blueprints and learning more tricks of the trade. He hopes this experience will lead him to become a foreman and is excited to pass his knowledge down to the younger generation.

Construction will begin early next week by Mike Neniska Contracting and each tiny home will take around 3-4 months to complete.