Take Action to Support the Demands of Oppenheimer Tent City Community

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Statement around Oppenheimer Park Tent City

“The camp community at Oppenheimer Park is on unceded territories. Fencing off the park is unacceptable. It needs to be respected and should be under First Nations jurisdiction, knowing the community and what the community needs. All homeless should be housed; no fence around unceded territories and suspend LNG, Site C and Trans Mountain pipeline projects” — Geronimo, Eastside Warriors

“At this time, over 82 Indigenous communities are on lock down and making choices around who they're letting inside; such as essential services only. Rather than enforcing an evacuation, the Peoples’ Park should be a place for displaced people of all ethnic backgrounds equally protected throughout the COVID crisis,” says Chrissy Brett, Oppenheimer Park tent city liaison.

The Downtown Eastside is located on the unceded territory of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.


  1. House the most vulnerable — not just the most visible. Follow the example of other cities by triaging and housing those with the highest risk factors (over 65 years old, those with underlying health conditions) amongst ALL homeless people — not just in Oppenheimer Park
  2. Don't “enforce” the Order by displacing and forcing out those for whom the rooms offered are inadequate or inaccessible, or was not on the April 25th list (date of the Order)
  3. Invest in the guidance and direction of peers and their allies to ensure the efficacy and appropriateness of the response
  4. Don't fence the park, and suspend LNG, Site C and Trans Mountain pipeline projects that further displace Indigenous people from unceded land. Return the park to displaced peoples through a repatriation process that involves stewardship by Indigenous people. This includes running the field house by groups like Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction, Culture Saves Lives, Aboriginal Mothers’ Centre or Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre
  5. Provide support for homeless people to “space out” through empty parks and greenspace, and unoccupied city, provincial or federal assets without risk of removal or persecution
  6. Ensure clear communication with those most impacted
  7. Provide appropriate supports so that people can safely self-isolate in hotels; including meals, safe supply, storage, guest access, and post-pandemic transition to permanent housing
  8. Ensure equitable “affordable” housing projects by Indigenous housing providers — rather than projects like 52-92 E Hastings with inequitable rents within the same building
  9. Ensure access to real safe supply. The opioid crisis remains the biggest health and safety threat in the Downtown Eastside