Inuit Homelessness in Montreal

Inuit represent 10 percent of the aboriginal population in Montreal, but they count for 45 percent of homeless aboriginal people in the city. There seem to be as many men as women in this situation. This homelessness generates physical and mental health problems. Many women flee from domestic violence in their home communities, only to reconnect with it in the city (reference: “The dream of the South: leaving the violence of hell for an artificial paradise,” an article in Le Devoir, February 26-27, 2005). All Inuit live away from their culture. Inuit migrate to Montreal after completing penal terms in federal or Quebec detention centers. Some of them are forbidden from returning to their home communities by order of the courts, or they are simply no longer welcome in North. With no other alternatives, they quietly drift into homelessness. The causes of homelessness in Montreal originate from Nunavik (reference: article “Nunavik housing crunch squeezes Inuit onto Montreal streets”, Nunatsiaq News, May 27, 2008).

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