The role and responsibility of the Housing and Infrastructure Secretariat is to ensure that lobbying and advocacy efforts, directed by the Chiefs Committee on Housing and Infrastructure (CCoHI) (1), are carried out.
To maintain up-to-date information on First Nations Housing and Infrastructure and provide information upon request.
To ensure that First Nations are adequately represented in initiatives as they affect First Nations Housing and Infrastructure.
To ensure that First Nations Housing & Infrastructure issues and concerns are raised in various forums and processes by political leaders and others.
To advocate, support, and assist First Nations in the development and maintenance of regional housing strategies, as required.
And to monitor recommendations made by the CCoHI to ensure effective implementation.
The Secretariat also conducts analysis on new and emerging Housing and Infrastructure policy, legislation, programs and research to determine its impact on First Nations Aboriginal and treaty right, prepare briefings for the CCoHI, provide technical advice and assistance to the CCoHI, develop recommendations and options for the CCoHI and AFN Executive, as required.
Maintains regular contact with members of the CCoHI and take directions from the Chair and Co-Chair.
Maintain regular contact with First Nations Housing & infrastructure technical personnel and regional organizations. (2)
Maintain contact and work in collaboration with other national Aboriginal Housing associations, organizations, and networks.
Provide advice and support as required.
Maintain contact and work in collaboration with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other federal departments, as required.
Attend regional, national and international First Nations Housing forums and provide reports.
Develop means to enhance and improve the capacity of the AFN to disseminate and collect information as it pertains to First Nations Housing & Infrastructure.
Brief the National Chief, AFN Executive and members of the CCoHI, as required.
Coordinate CCoHI meetings.
Ensure that minutes of meetings and agendas are prepared and disseminated in a timely and efficient manner.
Oversee the administration and finances of the CCoHI funding arrangements.
- The CCoHI comprises of Chiefs for each region appointed their respective Regional Chief and selected for their expertise in Housing and Infrastructure matters.
- The Secretariat has an established regional Housing Technicians committee and a separate First Nations Technical Water Advisory Committee (FNTWAG). The FNTWAG was initially mandated to provide advice to AFN related to the Expert Panel Study on Safe Drinking Water for First Nations which was directed to consider the options for a regulatory framework for First Nations communities located on reserves.