An Urban Indigenous National Housing Strategy in Canada

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The Throne Speech was another failure from the Government of Canada to acknowledge the critically dire need for an Urban Indigenous housing strategy. The distinction-based approach fails the 79.7% of Indigenous people who are not living on-reserve in Canada. The current National Housing Strategy lacks the specific means and measures needed to address the housing rights violations experienced by Indigenous people residing in rural, urban, and northern communities.

The lives of so many of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls would have been drastically different had they had access to safe, adequate and affordable housing. The opioid crisis is yet another devastating pandemic that is silently taking our country under siege, without efficient or acceptable support. These ongoing crises are directly related to the Canadian Government’s refusal to create an Urban Indigenous Housing Strategy.

The goal isn’t to divide the support from the Distinction based strategies, instead we are asking you to increase it in order to adequately respond to the devastating need of all Indigenous communities. First Nations, Metis and Inuit Housing and Service providers must be at the table to address First Nations, Metis and Inuit Housing issues. In that same respect the Urban Indigenous voices that represent nearly 80% of the Indigenous peoples living in urban, rural and northern regions must also be at the table.

We ask that the Canadian Government take concrete steps to adopt strategies to ensure access to adequate, affordable housing for all Indigenous peoples, not only the ones who fit into colonialized categories of what it is to be Indigenous. Only through meaningful engagement with  Indigenous housing and service partners across Canada can the social, economic, and Indigenous rights of urban and rural Indigenous peoples in Canada be claimed and protected in relation to housing adequacy and Indigenous self-determination rights per the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Now we are turning to you, our Indigenous partners, community members, housing and service providers and every Canadian citizen to stand up for the human right for all peoples to have access to adequate housing. Indigenous Peoples live in the most egregious housing conditions in this country. They are over represented in all of ongoing crises are Country faces from homelessness to the opioid pandemic. Housing is central to both of these critical issues and communities across Canada are suffering from the impact. By signing this petition we hope the government will respond to our ongoing calls for action to provide every safe, adequate and affordable housing for all of its peoples.