Darrien Morton & Zoë Mager
HTFC Centre Image
SOCIAL INNOVATION IN PLANNING: HOUSING SOLUTIONS FOR INDIGENOUS YOUTH AGING OUT OF FOSTER CARE IN WINNIPEG

Housing Solutions for Indigenous Youth Aging Out of Care is a social innovation lab which aims to reduce rates of homelessness and housing insecurity among Indigenous youth involved in the provincial child welfare system in Winnipeg when they age out of care and lose their institutional supports at the age of 18. Responding to the extremely high rates of homelessness and housing insecurity among this youth population, the Lab focuses on developing and prototyping innovative solutions to assist young people in this transition, and meet their present and long-term housing needs.

This presentation will share lessons learned on engaging in a cross-cultural and intergenerational collaborative process, prioritizing systems-centred and stakeholder-driven solutions. As a team of community members with lived experience, and planners and researchers external to the experiences faced by community members, we are engaged in a 1.5-year Housing Solutions Lab that joins together Indigenous approaches, social innovation, and planning practices. Our process brings diverse knowledges, experiences, and skill-sets to reframe homelessness and propose solutions to the often dangerous and unjust outcomes threatening the wellbeing of Indigenous youth aging out of care.


Darrien Morton received his Bachelor of Arts (honours) degree in Health Sciences from Simon Fraser University, British Columbia in 2014 and his Master of Science in Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba in 2018. His research interests align at the intersection of solidarity-focused social movement research, Indigenous health and youth engagement. In addition to several organizational and academic research activities, he is generating unique practices and models on research relationships based on trust, reciprocity and urban Indigenous jurisdiction and youth-driven research governance.

Zoë Mager’s professional experience as a community and environmental planner spans diverse contexts, including environmental conservation and planning, sustainable urban design, housing, equity and accessibility, and systems-change processes. Zoë has worked with and for Indigenous communities doing consultation and engagement, traditional knowledge studies, ecosystem and wildlife management, and Indigenous planning processes. She also has a background in environmental education, working with youth on urban planning, civic engagement, and issues surrounding climate change. Zoë received her Bachelors’ (Hons.) in Indigenous Environmental Studies from Trent University, and her Masters of Environmental Studies (Planning) from York University.

Food for Thought
Date & Time To Be Determined
Centre Space
John A. Russell Building
Faculty of Architecture
University of Manitoba

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