Indigenous Housing: Policy and Engagement-Final Report to Indigenous Services Canada

While there are some housing issues shared by Indigenous communities, each faces unique challenges in developing, constructing, and maintaining an adequate housing supply. Indigenous women additionally face gender-specific challenges in securing a safe, stable housing situation for themselves and their families, both on and off-reserve. Racialized violence disproportionately affects Indigenous women and girls in Canada, with housing issues being a contributing factor to the lack of safety and security they may feel. The insufficiency of accessible shelters and affordable housing for Indigenous women leaving abusive situations, especially in remote, rural, and Northern communities, means they and their children cannot always live in safety. Colonization, patriarchy, and the effects of intergenerational trauma shape Indigenous women’s experiences of homelessness and housing insecurity. Any approach to address these impacts must recognize the complex social, historical, economic, and legislative issues that contribute to these experiences.

The federal government must incorporate an intersectional, and gender-based approach that is inclusive of voices that have been unrepresented and under-represented in previous policy discussions. Indigenous women are the experts of their own lived experiences and are best suited to deliver recommendations on the housing policies that will impact them. 

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