At the Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assembly in Montreal in July, the Chiefs-in-Assembly passed a resolution to support the BC First Nations VisitAbility activities to improve housing accessibility. With the resolution approved, the BC First Nations Task Force will work with First Nations across Canada to promote VisitAble Housing.

The following link is a signed copy of the resolution. The full text of the resolution can also be found below the link: AFN Signed Resolution

Full text of resolution:

Assembly of First Nations
55 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1600
Ottawa, Ontario K1 P 6L5
Telephone: 613-241-6789 Fax: 613-241-5808


JULY 7, 8 & 9, 2015, MONTREAL, QC
Assemblee des Premieres Nations
55, rue Metcalfe, Suite 1600
Ottawa (Ontario) K1 P 6L5
Telephone: 613-241-6789 Telecopieur: 613-241-5808

Resolution no. 13/2015

TITLE: Support for Collaborative Knowledge Building and Action for VisitAble Housing in First Nations Communities in British Columbia
SUBJECT: Health, Housing
MOVED BY: Grand Chief Mike Mitchell, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, ON
SECONDED BY: Chief Shining Turtle, Whitefish River First Nation, ON
DECISION Carried by Consensus


A. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states:

i. Article 21, (2): States shall take effective measures and, where appropriate, special measures to
ensure continuing improvement of their economic and social conditions. Particular attention shall be
paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with

B. The British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) promotes VisitAble Housing for all
Canadians, including persons with disabilities and seniors. Working in partnership with the Canadian Centre on
Disability Studies, BCANDS aims to increase understanding of VisitAble Housing by highlighting lived
experiences and reviewing current policies, practices, impacts and barriers. The aim is to develop and
implement strategies to promote VisitAble Housing among buyers, builders, policy makers, and other

C. The BCANDS is a non-profit, charitable, non-political organization with the mandate “to promote the betterment
of Aboriginal people with disabilities in the province of British Columbia.” BCANDS provides advocacy and
support services in areas of social and human services, economic, education, training, health, human rights,
and housing.

D. VisitAble Housing Canada is an initiative of the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies funded through the
Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships – Disability Component to promote VisitAble
housing for all Canadians, including persons with disabilities and seniors. “VisitAble Housing” or “VisitAbility” is
the concept of designing and building homes with basic accessibility providing easy access on the main level
for occupants. VisitAble housing offers a convenient home for residents and a welcoming environment for
visitors of all ages and mobility.

E. BCANDS is currently a supporting organization working with VisitAble Housing Canada, and has partnered with
the Esquimalt and Beecher Bay First Nations in creating a First Nations Task Force to promote and research
VisitAble Housing in First Nation communities.

F. The First Nations Task Force has recommended that three essential features be included in all new housing
projects, which, when planned at the outset, keep additional costs to a minimum:

i. A zero step entrance at the front, back or side of the house;
ii. Wide doorways on all main floors: minimum 32″ (813 mm) with a clear door opening; and,
iii. A wheelchair-accessible bathroom on the main floor.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Chiefs-in-Assembly:

1. Support the First Nations VisitAble Housing project to improve housing accessibility including strategies to
promote VisitAble Housing in First Nation communities among builders, policy makers, and other stakeholders.

Certified copy of a resolution adopted on the 9th day of July, 2015 in Montreal, Quebec