October 30, 2018
Fire Protection on Reserves
Indigenous leaders excluded from Regional Emergency Operations Centre dealing with Fort McMurray fires
Globe and Mail – Indigenous leaders weren’t included in the Regional Emergency Operations Centre where officials from municipalities, the province and Ottawa determined what to do to address the Fort McMurray wildfires. Metis communities weren’t eligible at all.
Governments failed to consider the circumstances of Indigenous communities. Many houses damaged in the fire started off in bad shape. Fewer Indigenous homeowners were insured. About one-quarter of Indigenous people in the survey lost their homes _ a far higher percentage than in Fort McMurray as a whole. About one-third of those who lost homes had no insurance. Fort McMurray Metis spent their reserves to the point where they could not get a bank loan.
September 23, 2022
Indigenous Housing Reports
Moccassin Flats Evictions
Canadian Press – A report “Moccassin Flats Evictions“: Métis Home, Forced Relocation, and Resilience in Fort McMurray, Alberta” commissioned by the Fort McMurray Metis says the housing subsidiary of oilsands giant Syncrude collaborated with the municipality to evict mostly Metis families 40 years ago to make way for an apartment tower. The eviction disrupted people’s lives and caused lasting economic harm to families. It broke up a tight-knit community and cut people off from their traditions.
The evicted families were leased trailers from the municipality, which were of substandard quality and on land that couldn’t be passed along to their children. The report recommends compensation, a monument and cultural centre and a land transfer.
December 11, 2019
Urban Indigenous Housing Srategy
Statement on National Urban Indigenous Housing Strategy
In Canada 79.7% of Indigenous Peoples live in urban centres yet an Indigenous Urban Housing strategy has yet to be developed.
Aboriginal Housing Manager Association (AMHA) applauds the Federal government efforts in the National Housing Strategy to address the needs of Metis/First Nations/Inuit groups on a distinction basis, it has failed to recognize the majority and the most vulnerable; the urban Indigenous peoples. As per the Special Rapporteur’s report “states should recognize the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination and that indigenous peoples must be able to influence decisions that affect them in housing and related areas. Indigenous peoples must be meaningfully consulted with a view to obtaining their free, prior and informed consent to all decisions made regarding housing policy, laws and programmes that may affect them.”
“As the newly formed federal government opens parliament, on International Human Rights Day – we share this statement in the sincere hope that urban Indigenous housing conditions and homelessness are prioritized in the federal government’s implementation of the National Housing Strategy, as a matter of human rights and consistent with the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The public statement written below was created collectively by AHMA, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing Leilani Farha, and a variety of Indigenous Housing Leaders from across Canada at a public press conference in Toronto at the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres.
We demand the federal government:
- Recognize the right to an adequately resourced National Urban and Rural Indigenous Housing Strategy developed and implemented by urban, rural and northern housing and service providers;
- Recognise urban, rural and northern housing and service providers as expressions of Indigenous self-determination, as recognised by the Federal Court of Appeal in Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (Misquadis) and as per articles 4, 21 and 23 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- Create new legislation, mirroring the rights and accountability framework articulated in the NHSA, which recognises culturally relevant housing as a human right for Indigenous people in urban, rural and northern areas;
- Domesticate and implement the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples in Canadian law;
- Finally, we challenge the newly formed government to meet these four demands in the first 100 days of government.