Forum Lecture: Housing (for) Canada’s Indigenous Populations

January 16, 2023

6:00 pm EST

A live stream of this event is available here.




Housing (for) Canada’s Indigenous Populations


Date: Monday, January 16, 6:00 p.m. 
Location: Ottawa Art Gallery, 10 Daly Avenue
Speakers: Jake ChakasimDavid Fortin, and Marc Maracle 


Free and open to the public 


Three advocates — an architect, a housing provider, and an interdisciplinary design-planning scholar — discuss challenges and exchange perspectives on housing for Canada’s diverse and dispersed Indigenous population.

Comprised of Innu, First Nations people, and Metis, Canada’s Indigenous population is heterogeneous. While many live in traditional and remote communities, most live in the country’s largest cities, where they face familiar supply and affordability issues.

This lecture explores the unique social, cultural, and logistical challenges associated with the design and construction of housing for Indigenous peoples, both within and beyond their traditional communities. It also discusses new approaches and supports that validate the position and perspectives of Indigenous people as they contribute to the evolving experience of being Canadian.

Diagram by David Fortin


man with glasses wearing a light collared shirt

Jake Chakasim 

Jake Chakasim is a Cree from the Mushkegowuk Territory in Northern Ontario, also known as Treaty 9 or the James Bay Treaty. He is an Assistant Professor in the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism at Carleton University and a doctoral candidate in UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning. His research focuses on resiliency, the internal migration and displacement of Indigenous communities, and formulating an etymology of Indigenous design for schools of architecture in Canada. In tandem with these scholarly activities, he has worked and collaborated with firms in Ontario and British Columbia.


Chakasim is an active member of the RAIC Indigenous Task Force and is currently involved with developing a National Architecture Policy for Canada that centralizes the valued inclusion of Canada’s Indigenous peoples’ presence, livelihood, and well-being across the built environment.

David Fortin

David Fortin is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario and a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Indigenous Task Force, which seeks ways to foster and promote Indigenous design in Canada. From 2018–2019, Fortin coordinated a community-led housing design project with the National Research Council for remote Northern communities and has also participated as a mentor and architect for the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative administered by Indigenous Services Canada.


He is a professional architect who runs a small architectural office working primarily with Métis and First Nations communities across Canada. He is currently a professor at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. Fortin is also part of the Architects Against Housing Alienation (AAHA), a curatorial collective that will represent Canada at the 2023 Venice Biennale of Architecture.

Marc Maracle 

Marc Maracle is a Mohawk from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory who has been involved with First Nations and Indigenous issues over his 38-year career. He is currently the executive director of the Gignul Non-Profit Housing Corporation. His initial background was in architectural design, preparation of construction documents, and capital project management. His background also includes community development, economic development, and negotiations of federal transfers of program management.

Maracle has served as a senior policy advisor with the National Aboriginal Management Board at Human Resources Development Canada and as executive director of the National Association of Friendship Centres. He recently stepped down as the co-chair of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association’s Indigenous Advisory Housing Committee as well as the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association’s Indigenous Caucus. In addition, he is the former co-chair of the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition and the Aboriginal Working Committee, a relationship with the City of Ottawa.

About Forum Lecture Series: Perspectives 


The annual Forum Lecture Series is presented by the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism at Carleton University. 


The 2022-2023 lecture series encompasses a variety of perspectives on topics that relate to each of the school’s three specializations:   


•  Design — Ron Thom: Life, Art, and Architecture (Adele Weder) and Indigenuity (Alfred Waugh) 

•  Conservation and Sustainability — Art | Architecture | Craft: a museum for the future (Jennifer Luce) and Adapting —Design in a Fully Built Metropolis (Sol Camacho) 

•  Urbanism — City Building in Context: a Conversation (David Wex, Michael Sørensen, and Joe Lobko) 


The series also engages the issue of Indigenous people and housing — Housing (for) Canada’s Indigenous Populations (Jake Chakasim, David Fortin, and Mark Maracle). 


We are also pleased that the speakers include two Carleton University alumni (Jennifer Luce and Joe Lobko) and a 2022 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture winner (Alfred Waugh). 



We acknowledge the generous support of our founding sponsors: 

Charlesfort Developments 

GRC Architects 

Hobin Architecture 

IBI Group 

Merkley Supply 

Trinity Development Group