Zain works as the Director of Community Development at the ARDN, a unique position that pioneers the way for rural communities to address social issues surrounding housing and homelessness. Zain has been working for ARDN since 2016, specializing in managing research, and developing financial strategies and business cases in an effort to raise funding for affordable housing projects in rural communities. Zain’s ability to collaborate with clients, communities and organizations have helped ARDN achieve success. He wrote the award winning guide to estimating homelessness in rural communities for ARDN, which is being successfully applied across Canada. This estimation helps rural communities gather necessary data to highlight the housing need. Zain is passionate about “making things happen for the greater good”. He has completed an MBA in Innovation & Entrepreneurship from the University of Alberta and is currently pursuing Applied Land Use Planning certification.
Kluane Adamek was sworn in as the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Yukon Regional Chief on June 28, 2018, having held the interim position since January 2018. Regional Chief Adamek is committed to working with Yukon First Nation Leadership and communities in bringing their priorities and interests forward on the national level, at their direction. A proud citizen of Kluane First Nation, Regional Chief Adamek belongs to the Dakl’aweidi (Killerwhale) Clan. She comes from a diverse background with Tlingit, Southern Tutchone, German and Irish origins. Regional Chief Adamek is fluent in English and French and continues to learn Southern Tutchone and Tlingit. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies from Carleton University in 2009 (Ottawa, Ontario), she returned home to work with Yukon First Nations and local communities in the areas of education, economic development and governance. In 2019, she completed her Master of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University. Throughout her career she has served on a number of boards and committees including the Yukon College Board of Governors, Kluane Dana Shaw Development Corporation, Actua, the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, and the Aboriginal Sport Circle.
She has proven experience in both the private and public sectors, holding various roles with Northwestel and Hon. Pauline Frost, Minister of Health and Social Services, Environment and Housing for the Government of the Yukon. Her professional experience also includes serving as an Advisor to former AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo. While pursuing her Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship with the Walter and Duncan Gordon Charitable Foundation, she led and founded “Our Voices,” a collective of northern Indigenous emerging leaders. Regional Chief Adamek currently holds the AFN National Portfolios for Climate Change and the Environment and the Modern Treaties Implementation and co-chairs the Chiefs Committee on Health. She is incredibly passionate about supporting youth and emerging leaders in the North and beyond.
Dena Kae Beno is currently the Coordinator of the Housing and Homelessness Unit for the City of Abbotsford. Her scope of work includes affordable housing, homelessness, mental health and harm reduction. Dena was hired by the City in April 2015 and since that time has been the leader and visionary for the development of the Abbotsford Homelessness Prevention and Response system. Together with City Council, city staff, service provider staff, provincial and federal representatives she has facilitated the ongoing mobilization of the system with community partners to tackle the very challenging issues of homelessness and poverty. Dena’s has worked in federal, regional and municipal government, private construction and development sector, and with non-profit, Indigenous communities, and faith communities to support the development of housing, community infrastructure and community social development initiatives to respond to housing stability, wellness, and vibrant community. Dena has an M.A. in Anthropology/Sociology with a focus on sustainable community development and a B.A. in Geography/Extended Minor in Anthropology. Both degrees were granted from Simon Fraser University.
Marc Boychuk is a Metis Housing Tenant Relations Officer who is passionate about ending homelessness and identifying programs needed to accomplish this. Marc currently sits on several boards and committees including; Alberta Health Advisory, Stepping Up (Preventing Domestic Violence Against Women), Aboriginal Interagency, Poverty Reduction and RCMP Advisory committees. Housing First and Sustainable Housing with support are what Marc is advocating for as a major solution for people living in unsafe and unsanitary situations. Working with the Federal, Provincial and municipal governments and agencies Marc hopes to identify and bring much needed support for rural areas.
Working closely the Alberta Rural Development Network and being involved in the largest coordinated homeless estimation in 2018, gave Marc a firsthand knowledge at what is most needed in his community for those housed and unsheltered. By being in shelters, soup kitchens, streets, makeshift shelters, supportive living houses and prisons, Marc is continually learning and adapting to the new solutions and issues our vulnerable populations face.
Ian Cullis is Director of Asset Management for BC Non-Profit Housing Association. His role allows him to develop funding solutions, incentive programs, and curriculum to support building renewal while coaching non-profit housing providers through retrofit projects. He is driven by a passion for affordable housing, the desire to help others, and a sense of accomplishment when people have access to safer, healthier housing. Outside of work, Ian has a family of five, whom he enjoys taking outdoors mountain biking, skiing, and hiking.
Over the last fifteen years, Colin has represented the interests of Indigenous communities, industry, and government towards building legacies of economic wealth that foster traditions, culture, and environmental stewardship. Through his experience with modular constriction during time with Metric Modular (formerly Britco Construction) and as a certified social housing manager (CertCIH), Colin is most proud of his work with the Yale First Nation, where they developed ten affordable housing units that were built to the Passive House construction standard – the energy efficient homes funded by either INAC or the CHMC for an Indigenous community in Canada. Today, Colin is a part of a new building technology, start-up called NEXII, patented whole building solution featuring a proprietary, ultra-lightweight high-performance structural layer with an expanded insulating and bonded core. It is fire-safe, waterproof, critter/insect resistant, mould resistant, earthquake/hurricane resilient, featuring superior sound dampening and surpasses Passive House energy efficiency performance levels, building up to twenty-four stories in 75% less time – all at the same price of wood-frame construction.
Anne Headrick is a member of Garden River First Nation in Ontario. She is the Housing Manager and is a Member of the Senior Management Team for Garden River First Nation. Anne has worked in the Housing Program for the past 10 years. Previous to this, Anne worked in her First Nation’s Social Assistance, Education and Health Departments. In 2015, the Garden River Housing Department received the Recognition Award at this year’s 14th Annual Northern Housing Conference for their work with Rental Collection, Arrears Management, Housing Policy and Strategic Planning. Anne has a Degree in Sociology from Laurentian University and an Education Degree from Queen’s University. Anne, her husband Dave and their 5 children live in Garden River First Nation.
Rod Hill is BC Housing’s Director of Indigenous Asset Management. His responsibilities include ensuring that the established partnerships with First Nations on developing asset management capacity exceed everyone’s expectations. Prior to joining BC Housing, Rod held positions of increasing responsibility working directly with First Nations with CMHC, BC Hydro and Canada Revenue Agency. Prior to becoming a public servant, Rod worked across North America in the mineral exploration industry. Rod holds a Bachelor of Science in Geophysics from Memorial University of Newfoundland. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration specializing in Management of Technology from Simon Fraser University. Rod is a proud member of Qalipu First Nation in Newfoundland and Labrador, with mixed ancestry including English, Irish, Mi’Kmaq and French. He resides with his wife and 4 children in Vancouver’s suburbs.
Since 2014 Katrin has partnered with Indigenous communities to develop locally-based housing policies and programs that increase the quality, rights and access to housing on-reserve. For Katrin, relationships are at the heart of her practice and she honours Indigenous methodologies built on ceremony, respect and reciprocity.
Katrin specializes in program planning, management and evaluation, while taking an integrated, collaborative and mentorship approach with her clients. Katrin’s funding proposals have resulted in improved community infrastructure, innovative housing programs and capacity building opportunities. Katrin also partners with communities and Indigenous-led organizations to facilitate proposal development training. Since 2018, Katrin has held a partnership with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as a trainer for Indigenous Housing representatives, supporting in the development of First Nation housing policies and funding/loan advancement. She is a member of CMHC’s Expert Community on Housing as well as the Indigenous Clean Energy Network.
Scott Travis is the Director of Research and Programs at the ARDN. His expertise in research methodology and mental health research aim to help ARDN develop evidence-based methods to improve quality of life of those living in affordable housing. Scott believes that everyone deserves to be proud of the place they call home. He has been a part of the ARDN since September 2018, and his role has since expanded to overseeing the work behind SHI’s many projects and initiatives. Born in Hanna, AB, and raised in Lethbridge, AB, Scott was lucky enough to spend much of his childhood on the family farm, and exploring the very windy, southwest Alberta.