Housing and Homelessness in Indigenous Communities of Canada’s North

A disproportionate number of Indigenous people are homeless in Canada—a situation that is particularly grave in Canada’s North. This study assesses the extent of the current housing and homelessness problem and identifies contributing factors in the Tłıchǫ region of the Northwest Territories (NWT). It concludes that the housing and homelessness issue is severe, with one of the four communities in the region—Behchokǫ̀—being the site with the most persistent and longstanding concerns. It asserts that the territorial government’s housing approach in the Tłıchǫ region fails to align with the best practice model employed for Indigenous housing in remote geographies. The study elaborates on how multiple, interrelated factors, such as ongoing impacts of Canada’s colonial past and welfare system, sociocultural shifts within the Indigenous community, the constraints of a remote geography, and past and current housing policies, contribute to housing insecurity and homelessness. The study also offers some potential solutions and recommendations to deal with this crucial housing issue.

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Housing Policy Debate