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Making progress through our Indigenous Housing Initiative

June 2021 - A year-and-a-half after we began working with communities, progress is being made to start addressing the housing crisis in six Indigenous communities closest to our oil sands operations.

Since launching the Indigenous Housing Initiative in January 2020, 12 families have moved into their new homes and 20 students participating in a 24-week construction and trades readiness training program, offered in partnership with Portage College, recently completed the classroom portion of their program.   

“We are on track to complete an additional 36 homes by the end of this year, bringing the total to 48, and the training program has been a major success,” says Troy Peterson, Project Manager, Indigenous Housing Initiative. “The initiative is improving the lives of families currently living in overcrowded and unsafe conditions, and is teaching members of the participating communities the skills needed to help build and maintain homes.”

Classroom training wrapped up in mid-June and field projects, including the construction of tiny homes, picnic shelters and greenhouses, kicked off last week.

“These projects will further develop students’ skills, empowering them to effect change within their communities,” says Peterson. “The impact of the training program stretches beyond education. A positive change such as a new picnic shelter for community members to enjoy can really bring people together by fostering a sense of community.” 

The Indigenous Housing Initiative is the largest community investment in Cenovus’s history. It involves the commitment of $50 million over five years to build approximately 200 much-needed homes in Indigenous communities and train approximately 120 students.