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Thirteen First Nation students are spending six weekends learning how to build a tiny house from start to finish. Global News photo

From start to finish

Indigenous students learn to build tiny homes

Sixteen people from the Carcross Tagish First Nation in Yukon have been selected to build three tiny houses, giving them a chance to learn skills in carpentry, plumbing, wiring and drywalling.

"And if they are interested in getting into those sub-trades, we will work with them on getting the upgrading,” says Nelson Lepine, the First Nation’s director of infrastructure and finance.

Overcoming challenges

Lepine is determined to help the participants overcome their challenges in finding work.

"For example, if they don't have a driver's licence, then we're going to look at a training program for them."

The 'tiny house' movement

Tiny houses have become a trend among people who are choosing to downsize the space they live in. Many typical North American homes are over 2,000 square feet, whereas the typical small or tiny house is between 100 and 400 square feet. Tiny houses come in all shapes, sizes, and forms, but they enable simpler living in a smaller, more efficient space. (Click on the info graphic at right to find out more.)

Reducing energy costs
Lepine says the decision to build tiny houses rather than regular homes was easy. “We’re trying to reduce the own-end cost for citizens,” he says. “We want them to have the ability to maintain a unit efficiently and easily.” Part of that is offering people homes with low energy costs.

Jeff Sloychuk, with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, says the program will also help labour shortages in the territory.

"To ensure that when there's work happening in the Yukon, there's less fly-in, fly-out, and more local opportunities."

The project will also provide much-needed housing to the First Nation, and the skilled tradespeople needed to build more.

"The intent behind this is that the successful candidates will actually move from this training program over to actually building additional units for us up in our new subdivision," Lepine says.

Lepine aims to have the houses done by this fall.

(Info from CBC and Global News)

Community meeting at Carcross Tagish First Nation to discuss the new tiny house construction project.
 

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