First Nation students are spending six weekends learning how
to build a tiny house from start to finish. (photo by Jules
Knox / Global News)
There's a new class in Yorkton, Sask., for First Nation students
that's laying a good foundation for their future.
In Construction 101, students from grades 10 to 12 are learning
how to build a tiny house.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) has partnered
with Your Choice Homes to empower youth by teaching them a trade.
"I like the dry-walling, putting in the boards, and screwing
in, measuring and cutting them out," Davis Keepness, a student safety
"My favourite part was framing, I love doing framing," student
builder Felix Wapash said.
Students are given credits towards their high school diploma,
300 apprenticeship hours and work experience in both ticketed and
As a bonus, there's also a paycheque at the end.
"These students are walking pretty tall and proud. They're getting
experience that no other course that they have experienced in their
high school program has provided," Jay Noel, Your Choice Homes project
"It was kind of scary at first, using the saws was kind of scary,
but once you get over it, you know, your confidence builds up,"
Students are currently in the fourth week of a six-week build,
working only on weekends.
Thirteen students from six different First Nations are participating
in the program. Organizers are hoping it will help generate more
student interest in the trades.
"A lot of the First Nations currently buy their houses from
manufacturers outside their communities," Noel said. "Dropping the
seed in high school students, what happens is they might take up
the skill or the trade, and chiefs can start keeping a lot of the
projects for themselves."
Most students said they're interested in pursuing the trades
"It's something I'm looking into," Keepness said.
As many First Nations also struggle to provide adequate housing,
Noel hopes the idea of tiny homes will take off.
"Most First Nations don't have anything for single adult living,"
he said. "They have bachelors that are taking up two or three bedrooms.
It's just inadequate placement of people in the homes, so this helps
the reserve place people better."
Students will learn how to install fixtures and flooring, and
then put the finishing touches on their tiny home over the next
couple of weeks.
"I'm going to feel happy, yeah. It's something I accomplished
with others," Wapash said.
"I guess you could say it's a job well done," Keepness said.