Solution Overview

Solution Name:

Dakota Designs

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One-line solution summary:

Affordable and sustainable selp-help housing construction

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Pitch your solution.

We look to develop a sustainable selp-help housing construction pilot program to allow tribal members and their families reclaim the pride associated with building one’s own home. Using traditional earth (adobe) for construction and applying modern compressed earth block technology, the integrity of the community’s architectural identity is preserved while addressing the critical need for sustainable, affordable, and culturally supportive housing. 

This program will be able to support language and cultural revitalization by bringing together the community through home building. Students K-12 and first-generation college students will benefit from adequate housing. Home environment provides the foundation for learning and is an element of the students life that can affect grades. 

This program can be scaled to all indigenous communities greatly impacting language and cultural revitalization, improved school scores, Increase jobs and skill development opportunities, improve mental and physical health. 

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What specific problem are you solving?

Adaptable and affordable housing is an issues that Indigenous people have struggled with in the present but mastered in the past. In the past we got together as a community to build our own homes. In recent years we've relied on government housing to provided homes for us. In my community (Jemez Pueblo) there is a 400+ wait list for housing. A small amount in comparison to the 34,000 needed on the Navajo Reservation. Some of the factors when it comes to Indigenous housing are cost, infrastructure and planning. By creating a community project we would be able to not only build homes but increase the strength of our community by sharing knowledge, language and traditional building methods. Our goal is to make sure the integrity of the community’s architectural identity is preserved while addressing the critical need for sustainable, affordable, and culturally supportive housing. As a result our community will be able to stay on our native lands and not have to move. By staying with in our community our traditions, language and vales will be preserved. Students will benefit by having their own space to sleep and study within the home which is proven to increase school grades. 

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What is your solution?

Our solution is to provide technical design and build support to Indigenous communities so they can build their own homes within the tribal community. Through our community engagement meetings with elders, high school students and a community wide meeting we have collected data on the needs and wants when it comes to housing. We took that data and developed a adaptable prototype housing system. With our technical knowledge in design and build we would come together with the community to construct these dwellings. Us providing the design and the community doing the building using traditional methods. 

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Strong preference will be given to Native-led solutions that directly benefit and are located within the Indigenous communities. Which community(s) does your solution benefit?

Our solution benefits all Indigenous communities. Crowded conditions typically lead to substandard living conditions. Crowded conditions have been linked to an increased spread of diseases that are transmitted in crowded spaces. These include increased incidences of tuberculosis, pneumonia, gastrointestinal disorders, head lice, conjunctivitis, and hepatitis, among others. Beyond health issues, crowded housing can also lead to increased social problems including lower educational attainment among children, alcoholism, domestic violence, and child abuse and neglect.

Through consideration of all the information gathered through the Discovery Phase which included several community engagement meetings, a housing design charrette, and a traditional housing assessment to determine historic development patterns, the design team is proposing an “Adaptable Housing System” as one option for the Sustainable Self Help Housing Pilot Program. This system would utilize modular rooms based on the size of the high performance adobe block in a pre-designed pattern of growth to allow the homes to adapt to both the unique characteristics of various home sites, as well as accommodate the specific needs of each family over time. 


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Which dimension of the Fellowship does your solution most closely address?

Support language and cultural revitalization, quality K-12 education, and support for first-generation college students
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Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Fellowship and your selected dimension.

We believe our solution not only benefits the support language and cultural revitalization, quality K-12 education, and support for first-generation college students by providing proper space and housing. It will all benefit Native communities economically by increasing access to jobs and skill development opportunities. Crowded living spaces is know to have a negative effect on mental health and substance abuse. We believe by providing proper space we'd see a positive impact on mental health and lower substance abuse. 

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In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Albuquerque, NM, USA
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What is your solution’s stage of development?

Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community
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Who is the primary delegate for your solution?

Dakota Fragua

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Please indicate the tribal affiliation of your primary delegate.

Jemez Pueblo

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Is your primary delegate a member of the community in which your project is based?

Yes

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Solution Team

 
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