Theme 4: Enhancing outcomes for INDIGENOUS YOUTH
Indigenous Peoples face multiple barriers in accessing housing that is safe, affordable, and appropriate. Stewart and others identify a range of housing barriers, including “poverty, lack of access to culturally appropriate social services and housing, literacy issues, discrimination, addiction, mental health problems, and intergenerational trauma resulting from experiences with residential schools and the child welfare system. Systemic racism affects access to housing and supports”.
The Definition of Indigenous Homelessness in Canada contends that for Indigenous Peoples, homelessness is much more than a lack of a house, but rather speaks to the undermining of the cultural value and practice of ‘All My Relations’ (connection and unity to all things, including culture, land, and people), and importantly isolation from “relationships to land, water, place, family, kin, each other, animals, cultures, languages and identities.” For Indigenous youth, homelessness solutions are about more than accessing housing and necessarily should include attending to well-being, cultural connection, and healing.
MtS makes a commitment to embedding Indigenous needs and issues throughout its work, and by approaching this theme holistically throughout all MtS projects as led by Indigenous researchers, with support from multiple Indigenous community partners at the local, regional, and national levels.