Last week we were thrilled to welcome students from Tungasuvvingat Inuit (TI) to spend some time building homes for Phase II of Leacross Landing.

TI’s Introduction to Construction course is a unique intensive training experience that provides a variety of construction training for youth aged 20-29 over a two-week period. The program builds on existing life skills and strengthens confidence all while developing viable competencies for a future career in construction.

Their experience is capped off with hands-on work at the Habitat build site! Our crew was happy to have the assistance as we framed out the first floors of four new homes. We all know that learning is best when combined with hands-on experience!

Here’s what some of the participants had to share:

“I had fun and enjoyed my time on the build site so far. I was able to get hands on experience and help local families at the same time. It feels really good. I would like to come back as a regular volunteer after the program is over and just continue to learn more.” – Steven Simonie, student

“I know a family that moved into one of the Habitat homes so I know how good Habitat is for the community. It will feel good to say to the families getting the new homes, ‘hey I worked on the houses that you’re moving into!’” – Kaleel Hill-Shakoor, student

“I’ve had no experience in construction beforehand so this has been a good learning experience. I got to learn more about all the different tools, which was good to know. It feels amazing knowing that we are helping put a roof over people’s heads and providing them with a place to call home.” – Penny Etokto, student

“It feels good knowing that we’re doing something for the community. On Tuesday we got to work alongside one of the families getting a Habitat home and I just feel very proud that we’re doing a good thing for them. I would definitely like to come back on the site as a regular volunteer and I would love to see when the homes are complete. I can point the homes out and say, ‘I helped build those.’”- Billy Akavak, instructor

“I think all the participants have enjoyed their time on the Habitat build site so far and it’s been good for them especially after the two week course. Our goal with this program and our time on the Habitat build site is to get the youth interested in construction and the trades and the hope is that they will continue to pursue these types of opportunities after the program. It has been a wonderful experience collaborating with Habitat and we want to make sure that we can keep doing this every year and to see that commitment. It would just be great if we could do this again.” – Jordan MacNeil-Mackenzie, Employment Counsellor, Program Coordinator

Thanks to a grant from the Ottawa Community Foundation and additional sponsorship from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), we were able to facilitate this unique career development opportunity for Indigenous youth. We hope that we can assist with this program in the future and want to personally congratulate the participants on a job well done!

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