May 27, 2022: In February 2022, the Kanaka Bar Indian Band, SAIT, Okanagan College, Foresight Canada and Seko Construction partnered to launch the Kanaka Bar Resilient Housing Challenge, an Innovation Challenge to help the communities of Lytton, BC and Kanaka Bar rebuild sustainably after the devastating wildfires of 2021.
There was an urgent need for ready-to-adopt building innovation to support these communities experiencing the worst impacts of climate change firsthand. In just four months, the Challenge was planned and launched, applications were received and reviewed, and the top solutions were selected for testing and piloting.
Despite the short Challenge application window, the Challenge received nearly 50 unique climate-resilient building technology solutions to help prevent future vulnerability to extreme weather events. These were reviewed by a panel of experts with extensive industry experience. After a rigorous evaluation process, the following companies have been selected to participate in the construction of four pilot houses at Kanaka Bar:
- FORM Innovations: insulated and strong polyurethane concrete form that is highly water and fire resistant
- Artspan: structural insulated steel panels that provide a durable building shell that is mold, fire, and rodent resistant
- ZS2 Technologies: prefabricated, structurally insulated panels that are low carbon and fire resistant
A fourth building solution is currently being reviewed by SAIT, and will be selected in the coming weeks upon completion of the review process.
The winning solutions will be invited to participate in the construction of four pilot housing structures ready for occupancy by September 2022. Upon selection, further testing of products and assemblies may be completed to confirm performance in extreme climatic and fire conditions by SAIT.
The results of this Innovation Challenge offers sustainable new build and retrofitting solutions not only for Kanaka Bar, Lytton, and the surrounding region, but also to all Canadian communities looking to make their homes more resilient to ever-increasing extreme weather events.
“Foresight is pleased to bring our proven, successful Innovation Challenges model to this critical effort. We are excited to see how the winning solutions will be implemented in the rebuilding of these two communities, and hopefully implemented across Canada and the world in the years to come," says Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Foresight Canada
About Kanaka Bar Indian Band
Kanaka Bar Indian Band, also known as “T’eqt”aqtn’mux” or “the crossing place people,” is one of 15 Indigenous communities that make up the Nlaka’pamux Nation. For more than 7000 years, Kanaka’s Traditional Territory sustained its people. Located 14 kilometers south of Lytton in the Fraser Canyon region of British Columbia, there are an average of 80 residents and the population doubles as membership return home in the summer to visit, fish, gather and reconnect with the land. Committed to using its lands and resources to maintain a self-sufficient, sustainable, and vibrant community not just for today but for the environment and economy of tomorrow, Kanaka Bar has invested in community and climate resilience for years, including a variety of FireSmart initiatives. In 2021, The Kanaka Bar Community Resilience Plan was voted “Top Project of the Year” by 130 sustainability leaders at the Clean50 Summit held in Toronto.
Established in 1916, SAIT was the first publicly funded technical school of its kind in North America. Today, SAIT is a global leader in applied education and research, serving more than 50,000 students annually. SAIT offers certificate, diploma, post diploma, apprenticeship and applied degree programs, baccalaureate degrees, corporate training and more than 1,000 continuing education courses as well as six dedicated and award-winning research areas. Curriculum and research at SAIT is developed through industry partnerships to ensure graduates and industry have the skills and knowledge required in the workplace. SAIT is honoured to be selected by Mediacorp Canada Inc. as one of Alberta’s Top Employers for 2021, and to be ranked seventh in Research Infosource Inc.’s Top 50 Research Colleges in Canada for 2020.
SAIT is situated on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy. The City of Calgary encompasses a region the Blackfoot tribes of Southern Alberta described as Moh’kinsstis, meaning ‘Elbow,’ in reference to its location at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers. Since time immemorial, this region was a traditional gathering place for the tribes of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Today, the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy encompasses the Indigenous people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta: the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina, the Stoney Nakoda First Nations and the Northwest Métis Homeland — Region 3. Connect with us: Facebook Twitter Instagram
Foresight is Canada’s cleantech accelerator. Foresight supports the identification and validation of cleantech opportunities and the successful commercialization of solutions. We bring together industry, government, academia, investors, and innovators to address today’s most urgent climate issues and support a global transition to a green economy. Find out more at www.foresightcac.com. Follow on Twitter @ForesightCAC.
About Okanagan College
Serving the beautiful Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen valleys, Okanagan College has campuses in Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm and a centre in Revelstoke. We live and work in the unceded territories of the Syilx-Okanagan, Secwepemc, Ktunaxa, and Sinixt. We honour, work with, learn from, and listen to Indigenous communities. Okanagan College delivers more than 150 programs to more than 17,000 learners (approx. 8,000 full-time equivalent students) each year. The College’s program array spans trades and apprenticeship, business, health and social development, arts, science, engineering technologies, food, wine and tourism, adult basic education and continuing studies programs. More information about Okanagan College and its programs and services for students can be found at
About Seko Construction
Seko Construction (Vancouver) Ltd., a member of the Permasteel Group of Companies, has been one of Western Canada’s premier design-build contractors since 1953. With offices in Ft. McMurray, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver, we are very active throughout Western Canada and specialize in remote construction. Our expertise lies in working with First Nation Communities and private businesses across Western Canada to align budget, expectations and design to ensure successful projects.
For additional information, please contact:
Acting Director of Communications
Kanaka Bar Band:
Interim Director, Public Affairs
Peter J. Shoulak
Vice President, Business Development