Background Information on Bridges and Foundations: CURA

How We Came to Be:

On Saturday, February 5, 2001, Ralph Goodale, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, on behalf of Brian Tobin, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), announced the launch of the three year Community University Research Alliances (CURA) project "Bridges and Foundations: Affordable Urban Aboriginal Housing in Saskatoon." This CURA project became known as Bridges and Foundations: CURA (B & F). Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation also contributed funding to B & F.

The CURA program promotes research and social innovation by funding essential innovative partnerships between universities and communities. It helps universities and their local partners to work together for the social, cultural and economic development of communities. SSHRC is an independent federal government agency that funds university-based research and graduate training in the social sciences and humanities through national peer-reviewed competitions.

Three co-directors, Dr. Alan Anderson (professor at the University of Saskatchewan), Priscilla Settee (director of the Extension's Indigenous People's Program at the University of Saskatchewan) and Keith Hanson (president of the Sun Ridge Group) oversee the project. Its primary goal is building functional, sustainable relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organizations to design and develop culturally supportive communities and quality affordable housing options. As noted in the Community University Research Alliances Backgrounder published by SSHRC of Canada, B & F "seeks a better understanding of the gap between available housing options and community amenities and what is needed to meet the needs and expectations of the Aboriginal community in Saskatoon."

Who We Are and What We Stand For

Dr. Alan Anderson is the principal investigator for B & F. Adhering to SSHRC guidelines, the co-directors are responsible for managing the project. Under the management of the co-directors, the Project Coordinator, Jacinthe Taylor, facilitates the progress of B & F's individual projects and activities. As a community university alliance program, the foundation provides a forum where the co-directors share concepts and ideas with academic and community stakeholders in the form of a Planning Circle.

Planning Circle Members

University of Saskatchewan Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations
Saskatoon Home Builders AssociationApprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission
Quint Development CorporationAffordable New Home Development Foundation
Sasknative Rentals First Nation University of Canada
Saskatchewan Indian Institute of TechnologySaskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership
City of SaskatoonSaskatoon Tribal Council
Metis Nation of Saskatchewan 

Bridges & Foundations: CURA "seeks to develop a better understanding of how to establish and sustain culturally inclusive partnerships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organizations, working to improve the quality of life through affordable quality housing options in Saskatoon. The research will include a description and analysis of the processes that work (or do not work) when building relationships between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in an urban setting." The project works with both academic and community-based proponents to gather information that addresses urban Aboriginal housing issues in Saskatoon.