The first community living environment developed by the SIRCAAQ, Nutshimit, is located on the Cégep de Sept-Îles campus. This location was selected for its proximity to both the CEGEP and to the Sept-Îles campus of the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC).
Harmoniously integrated with the CEGEP’s existing facilities and residences, the living environment welcomes Indigenous students and their families from the more remote communities of the Côte-Nord and elsewhere in Quebec, offering them not only housing, but also a community environment that is culturally secure, peaceful and conducive to mutual aid, sharing and support.
Family-friendly facilities and services
The living environment was designed so families with young children can flourish. In addition to its 32 affordable housing units, Nutshimit includes an early childhood education service and common spaces, such as a multipurpose room, a shared kitchen, playgrounds and areas for cultural activities.
The units are assigned based to the number of people in the family. Rent will be adjusted according to the financial situation of the student and their family, as well as their eligibility for the Société d’habitation du Québec’s Rent Supplement Program.
- 32 units of various sizes in five buildings (studio, 3½, 4½, 5½, 6½)
- A daycare centre for 39 children
- A large multipurpose room
- Collaborative workspaces for students
- A motor-skills room for young children
- A shared kitchen
- Intervention offices and outdoor facilities for cultural activities
A unique and innovative project
Unique in Quebec and Canada, this first living environment project demonstrates that it is possible to contribute to the academic success of First Peoples by providing living spaces that reflect their values and cultures.
Conceived by and for Indigenous students, the living environment has been designed, among other benefits, to fit harmoniously into the urban landscape while also emphasizing the connection with nature. Its architecture is inspired by community spirit, culture and traditional Innu camps.
Led by the SIRCAAQ, this project is the result of partnerships between different levels of government and many other players in the region.
This innovative project was made possible by the invitation from the Cégep de Sept-Îles to host the living environment on its campus.
As its initiator, the Government of Québec supports the project through the Société de l’habitation du Québec, the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, the Société du Plan Nord, the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones and the Ministère de la Famille. The Government of Canada is contributing through its New Rapid Housing Initiative. The Ville de Sept-Îles is participating in the development of this non-profit project by granting the SIRCAAQ a municipal tax break.
The Centre d’amitié autochtone de Sept-Îles, UQAC, the Cité des Bâtisseurs, the Institut Tshakapesh, ITUM, the Centre régional d’éducation aux adultes Mitshapeu and Centre de services scolaires du Fer and Eastern Shore School Board are also collaborating on the project.