Takhini River Ku Katthe A'q - ‘First House’
In the spring of 2012, Habitat for Humanity Yukon signed a partnership agreement with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations to make affordable homeownership available to more families on their settlement land. Ground was broken later that year on a triplex affordable housing development in Takhini River, which is located 50 kilometres west of Whitehorse. The homes were built with the diversity of a growing population in mind and ensuring accessibility for seniors or individuals requiring wheelchairs by widening hallways and doorways and meeting energy efficiency standards.
With over 1,200 members, the self-governing Champagne and Aishihik First Nations are one of the largest of the 14 First Nations located in the Yukon. Their Traditional Territory covers over 41,000 square kilometres that are located in southwest Yukon and northern British Columbia. Their ties to the land reach back over 8,000 years. In 1995, the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Final Agreement was signed, confirming their right to the Yukon portion of their traditional lands and resources. The agreement provided ownership for over 2,400 square kilometres of their land, providing them with the option of beginning to explore homeownership models to help improve the housing conditions for families. Like most First Nations, there is a huge housing need here, and with a growing population that is a problem that continues to increase.