Tiny house constructed by students a new home for a community Elder
- Kaitlynn Nordal | June 24, 2019
In her song Billy S, Skye Sweetnam sings “wake up tired, Monday mornings suck, it's way too early to catch a bus. Why conform without a fuss? Daddy Daddy, no, I don't want to go to school.”
But for several students afternoons at school were exactly where they wanted to be.
In 2018, Parklands College in Yorkton, Yorkton Tribal Council (YTC), Cote First Nation, and Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission came together for what would end up being called The Tiny House Project.
After their proposal was approved, Parkland College developed a curriculum for the program.
Starting in January 2019, the grade 11 and 12 students who participated worked from 12:30 to 5:30 Monday to Friday and were responsible for building every aspect of the house. Some of the building materials and appliances were donated.
The students who participated learned trades such as carpentry, electrical, plumbing and drywalling and how to use the various power tools. Throughout the project students also became certified in different safety tickets.
“The main reason was for the students to have the opportunity to learn, and gain knowledge and skills in the trades and to potentially take that a step further if that’s something they see themselves doing in the future and to help assist in those next steps,” said Anita Vincent, Essential Skills Coordinator at Parkland College and Project coordinator for the Tiny House project.
While working on this project, students got to learn about solar panels during their installation on the house by Living Skies Solar.
“I think it was an important piece because alternative energy gives them that extra awareness about environmental concerns and a different opportunity for energy,” said Vincent.
Emma Keshane, who recently graduated from Kamsack Comprehensive Institute, was one of the students working on the project.
Keshane gained an interest in carpentry after watching her grandpa work a little kid. She heard about the project after her dad found a flyer and she called Cote school and asked permission to participate.
She will be going to Sask. Polytech in Moose Jaw for her level one carpentry but wanted to participate in this project to gain more experience in the field.
“I've learned lots. I've learned employability skills, job skills, and things I'll need in life if I go down the carpentry route,” said Keshane.
Keshane hopes to continue in carpentry and receive her journeyman ticket and Red Seal.
On Wednesday, June 19 at Chief Gabriel Cote Education Complex Cote First Nation, those involved hosted an unveiling of the 350 square-foot house.
During the unveiling, there was a power point presentation with photos of the house from start to finish. After lunch, participants could take a tour of the house. Various elders from the community put their name into a draw to live in the house.
This is the first time Parkland College and Chief Gabriel Cote Education Complex have done a project like this.
Parkland College recently received approval to do another project like this in partnership with YTC and it will likely start again in January.