M’akola was founded originally as the Victoria Native Indian Housing Society on February 6, 1984. A group of five Indigenous community members (Earnest Webster, Lucy Alphone, Barbara Buchman, Robert Nye, and Fred Story) who all wanted to help Indigenous families living off-reserve secure affordable, appropriate housing. At the time, many landlords refused to offer housing to Indigenous families. The five founding members had been in a committee working on housing issues starting in 1979 and decided to incorporate to get housing built.
After incorporation the Victoria Native Indian Housing Society was first offered office space at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre located in Fernwood at the time.
As the board and staff worked hard to get its first housing project built, neighbours and communities were not welcome to the idea of Indigenous housing in their areas.
The 23-unit project on Caledonia Avenue was the first housing project the society built. Staff worked hard to keep the housing complex at higher standards than other housing in the area. Tenants and staff worked together to show what good neighbours they could be and that Indigenous housing would be asset to the community.
On April 5, 1988 the Victoria Native Indian Housing Society officially changed its name to M’akola Housing Society. The name change was to reflect the expansion up Vancouver Island and not be limited to just Victoria.
Over the years M’akola Housing Society has grown to accommodate many Indigenous people seeking housing and now M’akola offers family housing, homes for singles and couples and assisted living for Elders and seniors. M’akola’s housing spans the Vancouver Island and Northwest BC with more than 1,600 homes serving more than 5,000 family members.
Through M’akola’s expansion and growth it has also found success through its development consulting firm, M’akola Development Services (MDS). Originally called Mi’s Kow’A Ao Development Society and incorporated on March 18, 1988 the development society focused on creating affordable housing for M’akola. Now decades later MDS is a leading development consulting for affordable housing projects across BC working with numerous clients.