Housing: Current Problems

Indigenous Housing Reports

March 20, 2019

Fed. Govt., NU

Budget 2019 investments ignores housing crisis in Nunavut

Nationally, Budget 2019 makes major investments in housing. However, the Inuit housing crisis in Nunavut remains largely unaddressed. Housing is a social determinant of health and linked to the on-going tuberculosis epidemic, mental illness, educational outcomes and violence.

September 23, 2022


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.

October 21, 2019

Fed. Govt.

UN Special Rapporteur report on Indigenous housing

CBC – In Canada, close to half of all First Nations people live on reserves, and more than 25 per cent of them live in overcrowded conditions, constituting approximately seven times the proportion of non-indigenous people nationally. More than 10,000 on-reserve homes in Canada are without indoor plumbing, and 25 per cent of reserves in Canada have substandard water or sewage systems. In a country with more fresh water than anywhere else in the world, 75 per cent of the reserves in Canada have contaminated water, with communities such as Attawapiskat declaring a state of emergency because of toxic chemical levels in the water.

A United Nations report “Adequate housing as a component of a right to an adequate standard of living and the right to non-discrimination in this context” is highlighting the role “abhorrent” housing conditions play in the poverty and exploitation that Indigenous people face in Canada and around the world. “(Indigenous people) are more likely to suffer inadequate housing and negative health outcomes as a result, they have disproportionately high rates of homelessness and they are extremely vulnerable to forced evictions, land-grabbing and the effects of climate change. “The right to housing under international human rights law is something that is legally binding on governments in Canada,” said Farha. “That’s really important because the UN’s DRIP isn’t a legal instrument in the way that the treaty for the right to housing is.” (Canadian Press)

In contemporary times, the indigenous struggle for human rights is deeply rooted in the concept of “home”. Understood from an indigenous perspective, this concept is not just about a built structure where one lives, but is about one’s place on the planet, defined through one’s lands, resources, identity and culture. Indigenous peoples the world over have been wrested from their homes: their identities, histories and cultures are denied, their lands are stolen, and they are stripped of their resources through land-grabbing and extractive industries. They are told where they can and cannot live. They are relocated to the least productive lands, and once there, they are denied the necessities of life, such as potable water and sanitation services.

Although indigenous peoples have contributed the least to climate change, they are on the front lines bearing its devastating consequences. In cities, they experience discrimination, grossly inadequate housing and scandalous rates of street homelessness. At worst, housing laws, policies and programmes are completely blind to indigenous peoples’ histories, exacerbating their experiences of colonization, and at best they provide particularized programming that falls short of needs.

See the attached link for the Special Rapporteurs 17 recommendations:

Other Current Problems By Theme


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Fire Protection on Reserves

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Urban Indigenous Housing Srategy

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