IGNITE Official Speaks at National First Nations Forum on Housing and Infrastructure

Walter Manitowabi, Director of the First Nations Sustainable Communities Program of IGNITE Infrastructure Association, presented at the Assembly of First Nations 2017 National Housing and Infrastructure Forum being held in Montreal, Quebec, October 30-November 1. During his presentation, Manitowabi announced the national launch of the First Nations Sustainable Communities Program.

Manitowabi participated in a panel discussion on Skills Development and Capacity Building. The panel also discussed opportunities to support First Nations with innovative project development and financing models. “It is crucial, now more than ever, for First Nations to develop new ways of project development and financing.  The current government programs are broken and have been broken for a long time.  Yes, First Nations do need a national strategy with new delivery models and new federal programming, but until then, First Nations need a new approach to infrastructure – a community driven approach that is supported by IGNITE.”

Born and raised on the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory in Ontario, Manitowabi has extensive knowledge of project development and financial services, as well as First Nation Governance. Direct experience includes:

  • Chief of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, one of Canada’s largest and most progressive First Nation communities
  • Chief Operating Officer, Union of Ontario Indians, serving 39 First Nation communities of Anishinabek Nation
  • Director of Operations/Band Manager, Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory
  • Worked with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and their Section 95 On-Reserve Housing Program
  • Delivered the Aboriginal Business Development Program of Industry Canada


About IGNITE Infrastructure Association

A non-profit association headquartered in Oshawa, Ontario, IGNITE Infrastructure Association (IGNITE) operates as a governing body that facilitates the development, design, building, financing, operation and maintenance of infrastructure assets as directed by its Members. IGNITE provides its Members with an extensive network of carefully vetted vendors and services, facilitates all required tendering processes, and acts as the sole interface during the procurement stage with the goal to ensure the decision-making process is transparent and objective with the overriding goals being to mitigate any undue vendor influence and manage future risk. Following the procurement process, the client, selected vendors, and IGNITE, work together to further develop, enhance and implement project plans.