SFI and Habitat for Humanity Help Young Indigenous Family in Winnipeg Become Homeowners

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, July 11, 2016 /CNW/ -- SFI's partnership with Habitat for Humanity Canada and its Indigenous Housing Program is tackling housing challenges facing Indigenous people across Canada one home at a time. Kyle and Sasha, parents of eight-year old daughter Hailey, are set to become owners of a brand new bungalow in Winnipeg's Point Douglas neighbourhood. Kyle is from Norway House Cree Nation and Sasha is from Sagkeeng First Nation. SFI will participate in the build in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Manitoba.

"My grandmother has lived here for 40 years and I have always dreamed of owning my own home here. My daughter will be surrounded by her family and we are really looking forward to giving back to this community," said Kyle.

Kyle and Sasha are already making a contribution by committing 500 volunteer hours to the project, including helping out on today's build sponsored by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Investors Group, and the Canadian Institute for Plumbing and Heating. The home will be built using products that include responsibly sourced forest products certified to SFI. Partners from the SFI community, Ducks Unlimited Canada and SFI Program Participant Louisiana Pacific, are onsite with SFI staff helping with today's build. Habitat for Humanity Manitoba worked with the University of Winnipeg to ensure the success of this project. The university is providing a building site; once the home is completed in November it will be moved to Point Douglas.

"Canada is faced with an indigenous housing crisis and anything that we can do to play even a small role in addressing this important issue in collaboration with partners like Habitat for Humanity is a step in the right direction," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. "SFI is proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity to help provide homes in our communities while at the same time promoting sustainable forestry."

The Indigenous population will account for about one quarter of young adults in Manitoba in 2017. "By building homes, we are helping to remove the barriers for families in need of affordable homeownership. We want ensure they build a better future for their children by giving them a stable and safe place to grow up," said Mark Rodgers, President and CEO, Habitat for Humanity Canada and SFI Board member.

SFI connects to Indigenous communities in many ways. The SFI Forest Management Standard is aligned with traditional values and includes specific provisions for respecting Indigenous rights. SFI partners with and provides grants for Indigenous peoples and organizations focused on initiatives like youth education and economic development. SFI also has an MOU with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. Read how SFI is addressing Indigenous interests and building partnerships.

About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI)
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc. (SFI) stands for future forests. An independent nonprofit organization, SFI promotes sustainable forestry with comprehensive programs supporting ecosystem research and conservation, education and professional accreditation, community engagement, and an internationally-recognized forest certification program. Since 1995, SFI program participants have invested more than $1.5 billion in sustainable forestry research and more than 280 million acres/113 million hectares in the US and Canada have been certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard. In addition, SFI promotes sustainable forestry by offering the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard and the SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard to address the diversity of the forest products supply chain. SFI on-product labels help consumers support future forests through responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors with equally balanced representation from the environmental, social, and economic sectors. Learn more at sfiprogram.org.

About Habitat for Humanity Canada
Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, non-profit organization working towards a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to call home. With the help of over 70,000 volunteers every year and 56 affiliate organizations from coast to coast, our mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to break the cycle of poverty in Canada and around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.habitat.ca.

About Habitat for Humanity Manitoba
Habitat for Humanity Manitoba is the local affiliate of a global non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating poverty housing and to making decent housing a matter of conscience. Since 1987, HFHM has partnered with local businesses, faith groups, and thousands of dedicated volunteers to build homes for over 340 Manitoba families with over 1000 children having a better future.

SFI Media Contact
Elizabeth Woodworth
Vice President, Communications and Community Engagement
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.
Tel: 202-596-3452

SFI Indigenous Relations Contact
Andrew de Vries
Vice President, Conservation & Indigenous Relations
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.
Tel: 613-424-8734

Habitat for Humanity Canada Media Contact
Katie Franzios
Senior Manager, Communications
Habitat for Humanity Canada
Tel: 416-644-0988; 1-800-667-5137 x302

Habitat for Humanity Manitoba Media Contact
Michelle Pereira
Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Philanthropy
Habitat for Humanity Manitoba
Tel: 204-235-2402

SOURCE Sustainable Forestry Initiative

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