We Are One

My name is Mae Flanders, I am Kwakiutl, I am a member of the Mamalilikulla First Nations.

I grew up in Vancouver- the unceded, ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəjˀəm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh (Squamish) and sə̓lilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil Waututh) Nations. I did not grow up in my Culture as I grew up in the foster care system. I have become more involved in learning about my roots, especially after having my two boys Killian and Ciaran. I have been in the Housing Sector for 11 years serving the DTES Vancouver residences.

I work for the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) for the last 3.5 years. Last year I transitioned from Operations as a Portfolio Manager over to the Asset Management Department as an Indigenous Energy Advisor role at AHMA. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege to learn from people who are passionate in this field, and this I am so grateful for their patience, knowledge sharing and mentorship.


Our project will help guide the Climate Emergency Action Plan and the Climate Adaptation Strategy. Teaching the participants of the importance of reducing our carbon footprint in existing buildings as well as Indigenous Knowledge sharing and the importance of “walking softly on the earth”. There will be an understanding of the Energy Step Codes, Passive Housing materials and hands on applications and learning from Industry leaders while renovating a 50-year-old heritage cabin and to give it another 50 years of operating as a sustainable, healthy, and resilient cabin.

This project is the continued collaboration of a passionate and proven team to create Indigenous career pathways in the high-performance buildings sector to support transition to a net-zero economy. Building capacity within Indigenous Nations, communities, and housing providers to construct climate change resilient, high-performance buildings contributes to sustainable development, reconciliation, and enhanced self-governance.


As an Indigenous woman, growing up I seen many broken communities, where you saw a lot of poverty, inadequate housing, energy poverty, health issues, mental health, and addictions. This is all connected to the trauma Indigenous Peoples faced during the Residential School System. I am motivated by the past generation and by the future generations. There are so many inspiring Indigenous Communities that are leading the way in Energy and Sustainability Sector. I want to help other communities live a more sustainable and harmonious lifestyle that aligns with Indigenous cultural beliefs.

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