Carry the Kettle students and instructors. Photo courtesy Your Choice Homes Facebook page.

A group of students from Carry the Kettle First Nation High School is learning what it takes to build a house.

The students in grades 10 to 12 are learning through their industrial arts program and a partnership with Your Choice Homes Inc. Over the next three weeks, the students will help build a house for a single person.

Jay Noel is with Your Choice Homes, and says this project is similar to one that was done with the Yorkton Tribal Council earlier this year.

Students from six First Nations were part of a home building project with Your Choice Homes to build tiny homes for single men, women or grandparents. He says the difference in this project from the Yorkton build is that everything is taking place right on the reserve.

“CTK is one of the lucky schools that still has an industrial arts program, and the students are engaged. They will start building roof trusses and framing today,” he added.

There is one other partner in this project, and that is PCL Construction. They are the general contractors for this venture and Noel says having them on site is beneficial to everyone.

“For them, it’s part of giving back to the community and also a chance to plant a seed in some of the students minds that maybe they could become a construction worker for PCL,” said Noel.

He says the pilot project will give students a chance to learn some trade skills, and it encourages them to stay in school and possibly pursue a career in construction.

Noel says it will take about three weeks to complete the house, and says it won’t be the only project with a First Nation in the province. A memorandum of understanding was signed earlier this year with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations to offer the skills training as part of the curriculum in 34 First Nations.

He says a similar build is also taking place at Fishing Lake First Nation, where 14 students are involved in a slightly larger project, building a two-bedroom house on the reserve.

Noel sees a lot of potential in the program, and longer-term, he says he would like to see many large industry and government agencies team up with First Nations so that all reserve schools can offer this program.