Can Holmes fix native reserves? - Macleans.ca
 

Can Holmes fix native reserves?

HGTV’s Holmes on Homes recently joined forces with the Assembly of First Nations and will oversee an initiative aimed at building sustainable homes on reserves


 

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Mike Holmes, the most famous handyman in the land, has accepted a rather ambitious project: to improve the lives of people in First Nations communities. The 47-year-old host of HGTV’s Holmes on Homes recently joined forces with the Assembly of First Nations and will oversee an initiative aimed at building sustainable homes on reserves. “We’re going to make sure,” he says, “that all the products we use are mould-free, water-resistant, termite-resistant.”

To start, Holmes plans to select an Ontario community in the next month for the pilot project.

It will be modelled after Wind Walk, a “Holmes Community” with 450 eco-friendly and sustainable houses currently under development near Okotoks, Alta. Since one of the challenges facing First Nations communities is an understanding of proper building practices, Holmes says, a First Nation Centre For Excellence will also be created. There, members of the community will be taught eco-friendly building skills. And though his team will oversee the effort, Holmes wants to include as many locals as possible in the building process.

Many of the details still have to be hammered out. But Holmes, who partnered with actor Brad Pitt’s Make It Right foundation in 2008 to rebuild a home in New Orleans, destroyed by hurricane Katrina, for a woman raising her six grandchildren, says, “If it was 50 homes being built, our target date [for completion] would be one year.” The funding for the pilot, as well as future projects, will come entirely from the First Nations communities. “Certain bands and certain areas have been putting money aside for restructuring,” he says. The ultimate goal: to provide those in First Nations communities with the tools to rebuild. “I don’t mean a hammer, a level and a square,” he says. “I mean an education system so they can do it themselves.”


 

Can Holmes fix native reserves?

  1. Bravo, Mike ! It gives me hope for Canada to see this super tradesman come TV star give so generously of his skills and time.Our aboriginal people have been given poor advice long enough by ill informed dogooders facilitated through the department of Indian Affairs. Just look at the fact that more than 50% of Reservations do not have potable water. Is that the same country that recently held the G20 summit and the G6 summit? Could there be a greater dichotomy? And yet,we all know it but do nothing about it.Thanks Mike!,may your action spur others on to follow in your track.

    • I have to say rabro, you really dont know what your talking about! First, in Canada, we call them reserves, not reservations. Second, could you please give us readers examples of the poor advice that was given by Indian Affairs bureaucrats?

      Because really rabro, I go to work everyday scheming about what crappy advice I'm going to give my First Nation communities…give your head a shake.

      Im so tired of the blame being put on Indian Affairs. Ummm Kudos to Mike Holmes and I really hope that the houses last more then three years….thats when the entitlement of "I want a new home" will take over.

  2. I really appreciate what Mike Holmes is willing to do for people living on the reserves in first nations communities. I have lived on the six nations reserve near brantford and Hamilton for over thirty years. About four years ago we bought a house trailer ( basically all we could afford). It’s not much but it’s ours and we own it out right. Only one problem, we have not been able to afford running water. Pathetic right. We have two girls and are on odsp. Doesn’t leave much to save up for it, does it. We have a pail in the bathroom we use to pee in and now have little worms coming out. We have very high heating bills usually $500 a month in the winter and it isn’t even warm in here. Without air conditioners in in the summer it’s about 100F in here. We are unable to get loans cause we have very poor credit and we can’t get help from the reserve cause we can’t afford it. The inspector said we had to have a raised septic bed with six eight foot runs. When asked what that would cost he said about $15000. That’s just the septic never mind the well. The reserve only helps with $5000. My oldest, who is twelve says at this rate mom we will never get running water. I told her probably not but at least we conserve water and we have each other. Hopefully Mike can help change the way things are done and some day we can have running water.

    • Tabatha, I need your help understanding the attraction of that parcel of land that keeps you and your family in such a condition. We have villages, towns and cities across the country where the drinking water, sewage, natural gas, phone, cable and electricity are built right in to the homes.

      So: why would any sane person keep putting up with living in such a state, and with kids? Which treaty rights and privileges might you lose by living off reserve, and are they really worth the price you are currently paying in living conditions?

      I sincerely hope that you do not believe that this is all you and your children deserve. It is not. Our native reserve network is a shameful legacy of shameful treaties, that even Mike Holmes won't be able to make right. But I am pretty sure nobody is forcing you to stay trapped in that shameful history.

      I hope you see this message, and I hope you will reply. I have been baffled for years about what keeps people in such a state. Please help me understand. Thanks.

  3. I hate the title of this piece. It's disrespectful and fits the bias that already exists toward our Native people. I'm disappointed with Mcleans. You usually do a better job.

    • Can Holmes fix native reserves?

      Did they change the title from what you found objectionable?

      If not, what is so objectionable about that title? What about our country's version of Apartheid isn't broken?

      • 'can another white man fix the group of aboriginals?' -Pocohontas, Dances with Wolves, Avatar, ect. Its the stereotypical duologue that a white person has to save the aboriginals yet again.

        • I also respect Mike for what he is about to do….. but will it actually be appreciated by natives in remote areas where they have been helped? They seem to expect help, take advantage of it and in the end burn it because it's easier than going out to get wood? I'm not racist and know alot of native friends! It's just it seems to me like YOU are your worst enemy??? And "white man" has tried to make it right over the last few years, probably to no avail, but it just seems to be backfiring?? When are you going to take responsibity for your own future? Sorry?!!

          • Sorry? lol thats is so typical of a racist that doesnt want to come off as one?…haha, not, anyways….1st nations people in remote ares are uneducated and dont know any better, if you never had something in ur life?, how do u knwo if there is better out there?….I challenge you to live in a remote town By Hudson bay for 1 year and then judge. What happen to walk in ur neighbours shoes for a mile, before u judge them? or can start to even understand what they live, with on a day to day bases?…I think u are very uneducated Larry…and you should read more about the history of canada and its people!

          • Larry wow do i have so much to tell you, You have absolutely no Education on what OUR people been through do you? I dont even know where to start, maybe i should start with OUR LAND? idk you tell me. Tell me where are we HELP? Cause all i see is Government STILL taking from us. Have u been to University? maybe u should take the time and go there someday, Find out the History of abuse/stolen from that we have put up with. And if you havent noticed that WE ARE trying to take back and take one the responsibility that we ALL had before. We didnt need the help from Government, the damm churches. Its cause of them some of our people are struggling with issues. Mainstream Society has NO F*&KIN IDEA!!!!! 

            Mike Holmes is one person that probably knows what we have gone through, not only poor housing. But everything. What a huge heart he has.

             

  4. Thanks, Mike. I appreciate what you're doing for First Nations. (By the way, I'm also disappointed with the title of this article.)

    • they went twith that to take the good away from what mike is doing….politics, everything is polical and if it isnt make it political

  5. Mike Holmes is a treasure that makes you proud to say, " Mike Holmes is Canadian." I'm sure his family is very proud of his decision to assist the First Nation's community in improving housing conditions. It's good to see money isn't everything and sometimes wisdom and skills are for more valuble then the me, me, me attitude that most people have today.

  6. it is evident this is not about celebrity or reservation houses but once more the Aboriginal Industry at work plain and simple and of course…. the money…..nice try holmes

    • I really don't get your point. Mike Holmes is a true philanthropist and a capitalist as well. There is no rule saying that you can only be one. In fact, I would bet that most people reading this work every week for money, yet do not do a fraction of what Mike Holmes has done for people in no position to benefit him financially.

  7. Unfortunately, no matter how well these homes are built, the people who will be living in them will have no incentive to take care of them.

    People won't spend the time or resources on a home that isn't theirs, and nor will they take any pride in their upkeep. Sadly, I predict it will be about 5 years or less before we have problems with these homes. Missing siding, broken windows….etc…etc….

    In 10 years, they will look like the homes on many other reserves where there is no incentive to take care of communal property.

    I hope I'm wrong…..but I doubt it.

    • As sad as it is to say, this comment is true.
      Reservations need to do a co-ownership of the housing…which should entitle a "YOU break it, YOU fix it" policy.

      • they already do, 1st nations pay monthly for a mortgage to CMHC!!!!!!!! boy people !!! are you really that ignorante or are you just that uneducated about the 1st nations and what your own government is doing?????????? they pay a mortgage…and an inspector comes in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and passes everything! or the contractors hired to do the job are doing bad construction!!!!!!!!!!!!! It ahas nothing to do wqith being a dirty indian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and just to remind every1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the english created and brought on the plaque! not the 1st nations people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • wow, you hope your wrong? it seems like you've already made up your mind about the future for these aboriginal communities and are projecting stereotypes on a massive amount of individuals based on their cultural background. racism at its finest!

      • If you've ever been to a reserve, sorry, "heritage community", you'll see that unfortunately it is true. I grew up in a town in BC that was adjacent to several reserves and the condition the communities are in are appalling, old rotting cars on the front lawn along with other junk. My father was an electrician and often worked in the homes on the reserves and was saddened by the lack of care put into the homes. I'm glad and forever grateful that my grandparents left the reserves and chose their own paths in life.

        • I agree with this viewpoint.  I live on the rez and because of the lack of policies and bylaws which off rez communities use to control the living condtions of thier properties, the sad state of native housing will continue.  Mike Holmes and “make it right” is only a tiny part of the solution.  Attitude change and “True” housing ownership is the Biggest Issue for First Nations to overcome.  CMHC housing units are owned by the band for duration of thier mortgage.  While residents claim ownership of house, they lack ownership over its upkeep and are allowed to get away with not paying mortgage’s.  The lack of mortgage payments make it difficult for the Band to fix and repair these units for the duration of the mortgage.  Which means these units slowly degrade into unliveable conditions over the 20 – 30 yrs of its mortgage.  Building better housing is NOT the solution, neither is teaching First Nations people how to build it themselves (that is already done on my reserve and due to lack of proper inspection to applicable building codes, housing is still poorly built).   Nope Attitude change, proper construction, policies which are enforceable and enforced, bylaws controling exterior property condtions, peer pressure to upkeep property, education on proper mainting house are all but a part of the solution.

    • Brutal! Why not learn something about people's lives, ask a few questions, before you apply your "common sense" property rights theory? There are lots of good reasons for people to look after houses they don't own–and there are also unfortunately many situations where people have to deal with issues that make re-painting the picket fence a low-priority.

    • This comment is absolutely ignorant. What the hell do you know? Try debunking this social sterotype. How dare you imply that people are lazy or dont take pride…? Ive searched and searched for an answer as to why I can drive on a highway with no signs and know when Im on a "reserve". FIRST NATION COMMUNITIES ARE NOT SUBURBIA…. and your attitude suggests that first nation people should be more "civilized". Actually your ignorant comment suggests a lot… but I suggest you shut your mouth. Yes lets put first nation people in cement block houses just the way it was meant to be… And that should make everything okay… As long as their houses and streets look nice,….so that when civilized people drive through these communities the real problems are dressed up nice and pretty for you… How bout that?

  8. A private citizen stepping in where successive governments have failed. Steve, think about that as you're pledging millions to others.

  9. Years ago I had the unfortunate experience to be daily in a classroom at a "heritage community" in N Manitoba. Tradition dictated that funerals and wakes attended also by the extended family — flights and KFC compliments of the Band — be conducted within home of the deceased.

    How to accommodate? Create a hall by demolishing interior walls (some of them supporting). Pile the timber and stripped drywall outside to rot over the years. Rebuild using fresh lumber, panels, paint. All at Band (read: Indian and Northern Affairs) expense.

    Objections? "Treaty rights!"

    Windows, when viewed through from out of doors, may create a mirror effect. Taboo: to view one's own image. Destroy. replace with plastic, or plywood at band expense.

    I kept ample supply of pencils in my desk drawer. Fresh supply handed out at morning's start, to be snapped in two by lunch. Replace ad infinitum.

    Admonishments? "Treaty rights!" A mantra compliments of your nearest lobby group.

    Sustainable housing: an oxymoron.

    Bring back the teepee, smoke some sweetgrass and let the "healing" begin, and begin, and begin, and begin.

    • so what are you trying to say? that natives can't learn to build houses, "treaty rights!" are stopping them doing so or that native people openly abuse their "Treaty rights" by seeing their deceased loved ones and by breaking windows and pencils? I don't understand what you're trying to get across.

      JBR are you native? because the last part of your statement was rather stereotypical and racist. (but if you are native it would make you a lot like sustainable housing, as you've argued, an oxymoron.)

      • Vocabulary Development 101: "Reserves" exist in Canada. "Reservations" exist in the United States of America. "Heritage communities" exist within that cult known to be Politically Correct.

        The Quick Brown Fox 101: There are two "shift" keys, one for each pinky. Use them, Anon. Or have you demolished your keyboard in accord with Treaty Rights?

        After graduation from Motor Skills 101, feel free to register for Reading Comprehension 101, Grammar 101, and Punctuation 101.

        Try hard not to break the pencils.

    • There are alot of great bands that care about their people, taking inititives to help and change lifestyles. But, unfortuneately there are too many bands/reserves that don't seem to care? They take advantage of everything that is offered,waste it and then complain about it!?? I have seen this personally, reserves far north, in Ontario,….. Maybe I am predudice? I hope not because that isn't how i was raised!! GOD help us!!

    • nothing was handed to 1st nations! we still fight for everything!………………did u know?…………. 1st nations pay monthly for a mortgage to CMHC!!!!!!!! boy people !!! are you really that ignorante or are you just that uneducated about the 1st nations and what your own government is doing?????????? they pay a mortgage…and an inspector comes in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and passes everything! or the contractors hired to do the job are doing bad construction!!!!!!!!!!!!! It ahas nothing to do wqith being a dirty indian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and just to remind every1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the english created and brought on the plaque! not the 1st nations people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Ask your teacher for another pencil, Joshilyn.

        I told you this morning: Pencils are the wrong tool to uncap beer bottles.

  10. Anon wrote:
    "so what are you trying to say? that natives can't learn to build houses"

    I think what he's trying to say is obvious. It doesn't matter what you give to someone if they don't appreciate it. Got a pencil….break it, someone will get me another.

    Give me a house…..I'll trash it. No worries…someone will get me another.

    Need money but there are no jobs? No worries….someone will give me money, no need for a job. I can stay here forever.

    The point being: If someone has no incentive or desire to achieve, you can be assured they will not.

  11. Mike, this is a noble undertaking and kudos to you. I watch your shows and enjoy them very much, however this time you don't know what you're taking on. Do your homework on which reserve you choose to do this building. Do not go where the need is the greatest because of all the reasons listed in previous posts. And make sure to return in 2 years to see how the homes are holding up. This will "bite you" in the end despite your good intentions.

  12. As an aside, Mr. Holmes,

    I know of one case where an aboriginal given a new home promptly cut a huge hole in the side of his house so the horses could drink from his bathtub.

    AT one time, when wooden siding was the norm……it usually ended up in the woodstove, which when you think of it, kind of defeats the purpose. Burn your house down one piece at a time…and pretty soon you have nothing left but the fireplace.

  13. Is there some reason why so many posters seem to think Holmes is doing this as a volunteer?

    Cuz I doubt that; it's a project — he will be paid and have glorious PR.

    I find him kind of tough and rednecky and scary; I'd rather have Jim Caruk and Neil do the work (haha, we used to think Mike Holmes was in cleaning up Jim's work on his show).

    • I work for money. I suspect a lot of other people do as well. I would not hold it against Mike Holmes if he holds similar values. It certainly does not diminish what it is he is trying to do. I suspect others will do that for him. And yeah, I think its safe to count you in with that lot.

  14. I look forward to seeing the light he shines on the neglected homes that Canadians pledged to fund.

    • I look forward to "neglected Canadians" pledging to fund their own home's lights.

  15. Building better homes on the reserve is great, however to really "FIX" the many problems within the reserve system, one must first make the Band Councils accountable for all the federal funding they are given. Our government doles out the cash to fund a myriad of programs, yet fails to follow up to ensure that the cash is put to the right uses. Stop the corruption within the band higher ups and soon you will see improvements on reserves, and not just with housing!

    • The amount of reporting that communities do to account for the money given to them by INAC is enormous. Check your facts.

  16. Go to it pal and bring the media back a year after it's all done.

  17. This was done back in the eighties CBC National covered it, walls and floors made from double 1 inch thick ply sheets, steel doors and frames, 1/2 inch thick plexiglass windows, industrial grade fixtures, when CBC did a follow up burnt out shells was all their was left.

    A friend of mine was a northern contractor for big construction sites and he said they have tried to do the same with no luck, he thinks if they had to wait and pay towards the cost that might change the faith of the housing stock. If you give something away with no ties to ownership it will keep on happening over and over.

    • they already do, 1st nations pay monthly for a mortgage to CMHC!!!!!!!! boy people !!! are you really that ignorante or are you just that uneducated about the 1st nations and what your own government is doing?????????? they pay a mortgage…and an inspector comes in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and passes everything! or the contractors hired to do the job are doing bad construction!!!!!!!!!!!!! It has nothing to do with being a dirty indian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and just to remind every1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the english created and brought on the plaque! not the 1st nations people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Where does the money for the mortgage payments come from in the first place?

      • I can't help but notice you keep reposting the same "argument" over and over again, rendering it ineffective.

  18. I wish him luck and if anyone could do it Mike can, but the answer is no!! There is no incentive for individuals on reserves to do anything to improve their housing situation or improve their community – from picking up garbage to even doing the simplest repairs. A few years ago I visited a friend who had moved back to the reserve to take care of an aging parent – this woman was well educated and when I worked with her off-reserve she was independent and willing to tackle anything. In her home a couple of kitchen cabinet doors were loose because the screws had come off. I mentioned that we could fix it if she had a screwdriver as she was complaining about whacking her head on doors that wouldn't close. Her response – she had filed a request with the band maintenance department about 6 months previously and the hadn't responded. Again I suggested that we could do it and I had a screwdriver in my car's toolkit – she was adamant that it wasn't her responsibility. I was just stunned – she would rather whack her head on loose cabinet doors, than spend 5 minutes of her time to fix them. So good luck Mike – I'm sure while you are there, there will be lots of good intentions, but nothing will change.

  19. i think its a great idea but in reality people choose to have their homes like that…if they loved their home they would respect it and take care of it and not make them look so poor and the way they are !! im native so don't get me wrong…i see on my reserve homes that aren't kept so good !!

  20. Is no one actually reading the article? Holmes is also talking about implementing an education system that will teach the Reserve residents how to take proper care of their housing. I think a big part of the problem has been ignorance. Those on the outside have no idea how difficult things are on the inside, and thus only complain that "rezzies are just lazy and don't care about anything."

    Meanwhile, those on the inside are working their hands to the bone, fighting for the same considerations that those on the outside enjoy on a regular basis. Go flush your toilet a few times. Half the Reserves in this country don't have that luxury in 90% of their homes! WHY NOT???

    Give them the tools (aka: Knowledge) to help themselves, rather than just judging them as lazy good-for-nothing freeloaders!

    • lmao good one

      • I tried to educate them, but they kept breaking the tools — the pencils!

    • Do you know how many apprenticeship programs have been offered on-reserves – I know that the college I worked at had offered several over about a five year period. But we could only offer the first year, maybe the second year because the students needed to go out and get work experience and NONE of them would – some for legitimate reasons, but mostly because they didn't really want to work or they didn't like the idea that their income from off reserve work would be taxed. They expected that the band should hire them – sorry, but NO band needs 15 apprentice plumbers no matter how bad the state of their housing was. Yet in the community less than 45 minutes away, businesses were crying out for apprentices!!!

  21. about time..someone will come on to our first nations and build our homes the right way…..taking a carpenters course funded thru our first nations doesnt make anyone a perfect builder…nor does anyone who goes thru a home for a building inspection….and says its ok..approval for living in…ya right…if it were built right the first time…way to go mike..had sent numerous messages asking if he works on first nations…..SWEET GONNA BUG OUR CHIEF AND GET MIKE HERE!!!!!…

  22. MIKE HAD BETTER PUT A DOOR RIGHT ABOVE THE BATHTUB SO THE NATIVES DON'T KNOCK A HOLE IN THE WALL WHEN THEY WATER THEIR HORSE

  23. Clearly you see both sides of the issue here with open mindedness, tolerance and a level of insightfulness that's so … remarkable!

    • What? One cannot speak about native people without being classified as racist? That's the problem right there. No one wants to get involved for fear of being "classified". The way the natives govern their affairs needs to be improved, that's a no-brainer. Our government needs to make an issue of accountability. To often funds are given then the backs are turned and someone gets a fat paycheck and the rest suffer. It's a chronic problem that occurs in reserves all across canada. Wake up Stephen!

      • Agree bcboy, ( I was responding to Stephen's response of taking a hammer to someone's head, figuratively speaking of course ) but I was implying in response that's not the way to go at any issue or that there are racist comments on board, I don't think so. It's obvious the social welfare state is a failed state.
        Think your comment went to me instead of Stephen.
        Like and welcome your openness to discuss as I've a keen interest in this as well.
        But, it's not our current PM's fault, as I personally know it's been going on for decades in northern Ontario. A minority government cannot take on extreme measures such as the FN issues be foolhardy politically wise.

  24. I will also wish Mike the best of luck but he has set himself up to fail, unless these houses are built from reinforced concrete with metal roofing and institutional fixtures they will not last 10 years. Mike can return to see how all these homes stand the test of time in two or three years. Mike has no need to travel to a reservation to check out native band council, just check out some of the housing units in the city of Brandon, good quality housing in the city can be quickly turned to third world conditions, broken windows and screens missing, fences torn down,yards full of garbage. The best one I ever saw was a unit with plywood over a kitchen window and the children using what looked like a interior door as a slide from a first floor balcony, oh this unit would be less that 5 years old, what can Mike do to make this right.

  25. I once enjoyed a return journey from Toronto to Calgary sitting beside Mike Holmes. The pointy end of the plane seems to garner its fair share of "entitled" people. With ~100 flights a year spanning many years, this was one of my most memorable journeys. Mike clearly showed a concern for others and a desire to help good causes. He is a genuine good samaritan and I have the highest regard for him – an awesome guy.
    John Ackermans in Calgary

  26. it's amazing people can find negative things to say about a positive thing ..it shows some people are hard wired to think that way

  27. short answer to the question…not in a million years

  28. It's amazing people can find ridiculous things to say about anything. It shows some people are hard wired to opportunism's whisper for 0.15 seconds of fame on www2.macleans.ca.

  29. it really begs the question, why didn't Indian and Northern Affairs hire Mike
    with the native community ! uh … duh!
    because the government thought they could do a better job without him?
    because a bunch of computer operating office worker bureaucrats can solve the problems better
    than a true working professional who actually does real work?
    give me a break
    have a look at the reality
    the state of some of these neglected government assisted native projects
    are worse than some third world countries!
    this also shows a good attempt to work with the native community
    as opposed to simply dictating what to do
    Indian and Northern Affairs should be truly ashamed
    can't wait to see the show
    and don't worry no one at Indian and Northern Affairs will be fired , they will simply just get another desk
    kudos to Mike and to co-operation and helping

    • I agree with CINEBEAR, about Indian and Northern Affairs neglecting ALL North American Native Communities. I am a member of the Tobique First Nation, (AKA, Maliseet Territory) in New Brunswick. Housing is such a needed commodity on all First Nation's Communities. There does not seem to be a way out of this crisis that we suffer from overcrowded homes and is not a very healthy way to live no matter what creed, race or color, but we are concerned for our children and our elderly members. We can never receive help because Indian and Northern Affairs is being greedy with our money and is stealing at a rate of 2,000,000.00 per year and we are constantly being judged by them for a few bad apples that exist in that proverbial bottom of the barrel.

      I for one would like to see our communities begin to thrive. Although we are living in the twenty first century, we are still being treated as what we have always been called "Savages". In our communities, there are many Native People who are educated. Many have doctorates under their belts, diplomas hiding in our houses and not being utilized because of the "D" word-DISCRIMINATION, which was instigated by the GOVERNMENTS.

      I would like to see a professional such as MIKE HOLMES teach the members of our community "To Make It Right". We need and deserve beautiful homes, also. Right now, we are putting up with Half-Assed carpentry and we have to deal with mold problems, leaking roofs, crooked walls, crooked windows, outdated materials in our homes. What do you say about stupidity like that? Where is the TLC?

      Sherl

  30. First nations people need better homes and to clean up their own act. We live 500m from a band in Western Canada has many good homes around it. First nations punks break in homes, steal property, commit vandalism, drunken brawls, drug dealings, etc. while their band office does nothing. The RCMP are spineless and morally bankrupt to go in and proactively and reactively police these people because of scarred histories between the cops and them. More than 250 calls in 2009 were attributed to 911 eemergencies to this local band and most of them were not ambulance or fire assistance. That's embarrassing…..

    Our morons in government rather give billions to terrorist countries or other whiners like Africa, Pakistan, Peru or others. They are walking a traitorous path in betraying needy Canadians including first nations. Help Canadians first, Mr. Harper instead of reducing us to a third world nation.

  31. The one thing that confuses me is how so many negative thoughts could be applied to such a good thing…does the title really matter that much? It is what your own mind makes it out to be..I, like so many others, have never believed Mike Holmes could do what he does for free..He gets paid and gets publicity..and look how he uses those resources..He gives it back to so many..and yet we are so comsumed with the policital that we can take a good deed for what it is..I feel very sorry for all of you people reguardless of your color..The ignorance displayed here is appauling to me..You all sound like you are so full of hate you could never be greatful for anything. And if your so ignorant that a good deed has to be picked apart and compared to sainthood all i can say it..GROW UP..i have to picture some of these comments as a 5 year old at the computer..i can't believe there are adults out there that still generalize and entire race of people on a few they have drove past..maybe you should try looking at the positive more often..I promise your life will bcome a much happier place if you do…so sad

    • Well said Toni….my family and I used to visit the reserve near us on a regular basis. There are some beautiful homes there and you can see the pride these people take in them, then there are some that are not very nice….but you know, that can be said about any community. It's funny how some people are so quick to judge others. I've met some really great people on the one near me. One day,when my truck broke down, the only people who stopped to make sure we were okay and who offered to help, were the people who lived there, everyone else just drove past us. We were even offered a warm place to wait for the tow truck. I think it's great that Mike wants to help and I applaud him.

  32. Mike you are amazing any chance I get I watch your episodes on TV. Every time i view an episode I dream and wish that you can offer our first nations people some hard core education of carpentry because we so need it. I live on a first nation community in northern new brunswick and recently my home was flooded due to a storm surge. When the high tides and wind stopped I had about 18 inches of water in the finished basement. While removing the damaged contents including flooring, walls, etc. questions surfaced about the structure of the home. The foundation was cracked, mold was extensive, it was just improper workmanship. My home was build 22 years ago and back then their were no experienced carpenters. The experience was very traumatic and as a result of the storm I would like to relocate my home to higher grounds. Can you help my First Nations Communiuty? I'm proud to say the government has approved funding for relocation but I am sceptical about one kind of skilled carpenters I will get. Everything about my home is so wrong, I should not be able to hear the windows and doors whisling and I should be kept warm while indoors.

  33. Given money to manage, while trying to maintain cultural practices while focusing on turning a profit for their people has resulted in internal conflicts, miss appropriation of funds and the slow destruction of a noble culture.

    I think the real shame here is the fact that our own government seems to either be ignorant of this and possibly using purposeful neglect of this obvious problem on the native reserves since they were established to regain control of the land for industrial and commercial use once they fall into disrepair and are forced to move or abandon their land claims. 
    The fact that this seems to escape the attention of the media and the general public causes me great concern not just for the future of the Native people and cultures but for the country itself.