Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference for

the RAIC Sustainable Indigenous Communities Task Force

(September 2015)


1.  Name: RAIC Sustainable Indigenous Communities Task Force

2.  Purpose:

  • 2.1 Indigenous people have great capacity and right to lead the discussions that affect them. Community engagement by outsiders is often late in the process, hasty and watered down, with silence from the participants regarded as consent.
  • 2.2 We as design professionals also have capacity to listen, to aid in the process by asking the right questions that will engage the communities. Our task force comprised of indigenous professionals and experienced individuals have a stake in the health of these communities.
  • 2.3 Many government-built settlements in Canada's indigenous communities have been compared to Third World situations. The adequacy and quantity of housing is often lacking, as are basic municipal services such as firefighting and clean drinking water. These settlements are frequently affected by preventable natural disasters, such as seasonal flooding. Spaces and structures that support traditional cultural practices, and therefore indigenous identity, are seldom provided. The living conditions in these communities embody the inequities faced by Canada's indigenous peoples.
  • 2.4 It is the position of the RAIC that the correction of these conditions is integral to the effort to achieve reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous communities, and that the communities themselves must lead the discussion. It is the intent of this task force to provide credible, trusted thought leadership in support of this position.
  • 2.5 To achieve this, the task force will investigate quality of life issues in indigenous communities, and prepare detailed documentation in support of advocacy for appropriate, sustainable, and culturally sensitive design solutions.

3.  Membership:

  • 3.1 Task force members will include RAIC members with membership - or professional experience in - First Nation and Inuit communities.
  • 3.2 Task force members may also include RAIC members at large interested in advancing this issue.
  • 3.3 The Chair of the task force shall be elected by the members of the task force. The Board of Directors shall ratify the selection of the chairperson.
  • 3.4 A Board liaison will be selected by the Board of Directors.

4.  Authority and Resources:

  • 4.1 The work of this task force will be performed by its volunteer members, with RAIC office contributions limited to periodic use of the conference calling account (up to 2 hours/month), and the production of occasional communications pieces.
  • 4.2 Any additional resources (budget, staff time, etc.) are approved by the Board of Directors. All efforts to obtain additional revenue are to be coordinated with the Board of Directors to avoid any conflicts amongst the program streams.

5.  Deliverables:


  • 5.1 The Sustainable Indigenous Communities Task Force will provide to the Board of Directors recommendations for advocacy positions in relation to quality of life issues in indigenous communities.
  • 5.2 Documentation will be focused, detailed, and grounded in well-documented research.

6. Operation:

  • 6.1 The business of this committee will be conducted primarily through email and conference calls.

7. Amendments of the Terms of Reference:

  • 7.1 Amendments to the Terms of Reference will be made by the Board of Directors.