Dear Valued Members and Stakeholders,

As we reach the end of another quarter, I am pleased to share some exciting updates and initiatives at the Fund that highlight our ongoing commitment to supporting First Nations communities.

The second quarter was a very busy quarter for management and staff.  In April, we attended the NATOA (National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association) conference in Montreal and I was invited to participate in a panel to talk about the Fund and more specifically, how we manage the FNMHF as a not-for-profit trust. In my presentation, I talked about our statement of investment policy, investment strategy, and our ESG policy. 

In mid-April, staff and Trustees gathered at the FNMHF head office in Akwesasne to participate in a 2-day strategic planning session, bringing together diverse perspectives from both staff and leadership to develop a more comprehensive plan towards the Fund’s self-sufficiency to better serve First Nations across the country. The session resulted with the decision for the Fund to shift to a membership model. Currently in its initial phases of development, this new model is aimed at providing enhanced resources and support for our members.  Our next step is to seek input from First Nation clients on the new membership model. Our goal is to be accountable to First Nations and to attract more First Nations to work with the Fund.

Also in April, I attended the ‘Our Gathering’ conference in Vancouver, B.C. This annual event is always well attended by B.C. First Nations. I was fortunate to have meetings with contacts at Housing Resources Services, B.C. First Nations Housing Managers Association, and Naut’sa Mawt Tribal Council, to name a few. Our Senior Program Officers from B.C. were also able to meet with several of their First Nation clients at this event.

In our continuous effort to address critical issues facing our communities, the Fund’s Chair, Michael Rice, recently participated in a radio interview on CBC Listen: Radio Noon Quebec with Shawn Apel. During this session, he discussed his contributions to the new book “Ending Homelessness in Canada: The Case for Homelessness Prevention” and shared his insights on homelessness prevention. We encourage you to listen to this enlightening interview to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and solutions related to homelessness in Canada.

This summer promises to be a vibrant and productive season for the Fund. We are excited to participate in the Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assembly (AFN AGA) in Montreal. This event provides an excellent platform for us to connect with community leaders, share our progress, and discuss future initiatives. Just prior to the AFN AGA, we will be gathering feedback through an engagement session on contemplated changes at the Fund for the Memorandum of Cabinet, as well as feedback on our new membership model.

Additionally, in Montreal, we are looking forward to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB). This partnership will further strengthen our commitment to providing robust financial management and housing support to First Nations communities.

I urge you to stay connected with us, follow us on social media and talk to our team about the exciting opportunities and resources ahead. The Fund is committed to helping you and making your communities thrive. We are excited to work with you, support your goals, and work together to build a better future for all.

Sincerely,

Travis Seymour, FCPA, FCGA, MBA, CAFM

CEO, First Nations Market Housing Fund