Working for Housing Access: Indigenous Solutions and Leadership

Panellists discussed the critical housing issues for Indigenous Peoples, shared urgent interventions for immediate action, and offered long-term proposals for housing equity, affordability, and accessibility that are for Indigenous, by Indigenous.

5 Key

A roundup of the most compelling ideas, themes and quotes from this candid conversation

1. Canada needs an Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy.

The government of Canada has acknowledged the importance of Truth and Reconciliation, but actions need to follow these commitments. Simply making existing programs within the National Housing Strategy available to Indigenous groups won’t be good enough. This strategy needs to be for Indigenous and by Indigenous Peoples, because they hold the knowledge and capacity necessary for the task. The housing created through this strategy might be different from other types of social housing in order to provide for specific cultural and trauma-informed needs.

2. Community-led Indigenous housing initiatives have been successful for decades.

By focusing on breaking cycles of poverty and creating intergenerational wealth, Indigenous-led housing providers have taken a culture-based approach. On top of providing housing, they focus on the wrap around support people need to achieve their goals. In fact, the Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services currently serves over 11,000 people without Federal Support. Moreover the Aboriginal Housing Management Association can present a 240% return on financial investment and over 700% on social impacts, demonstrating the capability of Indigenous-led organizations.

3. There is capacity and knowledge within Indigenous organizations.

The current system of government-led services, or mainstream organizations trying to take a lead in solving their perception of what the issue, is not working. Indigenous-led services have been proven successful and have the capacity and knowledge to meet their needs, but there is a lack of funding. For this reason, the Aboriginal Housing Management Association dedicates part of their work to demonstrate this economic capacity in order to provide proof to whoever needs to see it.

4. Reconnecting to the land as a living organism.

Turtle Island is full of fences and concrete barriers dividing up the territory where Indigenous people have lived and provided for themselves for over 50,000 years. There are currently over 345,000 homeless people, 30% of which are Indigenous even though only 3% of the population is Indigenous. We need to understand that Indigenous rights and housing rights are human rights. Learning how to build a home can be incredibly powerful to exercise dignity and reconnect to the earth. Marie McGregor Pitawanakwat stated the importance of agency and land in the conversation about housing, because our current system is heavily financialized and tends to leave people out.

5. There are opportunities at every scale.

Indigenous groups are articulating their needs, demonstrating capacity, knowledge and successful models that can be replicated. Although Canada is very large, at the same time it is composed of a collection of villages capable of organizing and implementing change. Moreover, municipal governments can do an inventory of land and buildings they own to explore possibilities. People want to work together in collaboration with Indigenous organizations, and make sure people feel like they belong in whichever village they choose to inhabit.

Full Panel

Note to readers: This video session was transcribed using auto-transcribing software. Manual editing was undertaken in an effort to improve readability and clarity. Questions or concerns with the transcription can be directed to with “transcription” in the subject line.

15:00:58 Hi! Everybody. It’s Mary Rowe from the Canadian Urban Institute. So excited to see all of you and aware that people are coming in on a different time, because people become creatures of habit, And so the west coast is used to having morning coffee with us, at 9 and the East coast is used to just getting ready for a little mid afternoon nap, and then the Eastern guys are normally having their lunch.
15:01:23 So thanks for those of you that delayed your lunch break. We’re appreciative to have you here. City talk has been running since March 2020, and we were just saying backstage that we don’t know how many of these we’ve actually done.
15:01:38 But when we first started them none of us knew what zoom was.
15:01:42 None of us knew what teams was, or any of these platforms, and now they’re just part of our daily lives, and I work around the country, and I go to various meetings, and it happened today I went and did a session for the board of Trade in Toronto and a table of people came to speak to me about how important these city talk sessions have been for people practicing different aspects of city building and urban life, learning about each other what’s going on across the country and then learning about aspects, of city building that they don’t know much about or that They know they need
15:02:14 to know more about. And so I appreciate everybody continuing to stick with us and be part of these sessions. And we’re very stuck on our format. We do them in an hour.
15:02:26 we invite people from across the country, and different perspectives to give us a sense of what’s working what’s not, and what’s next, And then?
15:02:32 We record them, as everyone knows, and we record the chat, and there’s a whole parallel universe in that chat of people who I know right now are identifying who they are.
15:02:39 Where they’re coming from, and what they’re ancestral territory is that they happen to be landed in.
15:02:46 So we then post these on the website, and then people use them.
15:02:50 And I was just suggesting that lots of university classes are using them, And so I think, as we move to believe it or not, a 1,000 days of Covid, which will be December 6 7, It’s really important that we take time to learn and that we take time, to understand what have we collectively been
15:03:09 through, and what can we learn going forward in terms of improving the way we build cities?
15:03:14 And what better topic to do than this one to talk about indigenous experiences of housing that predate the pandemic pandemic and then predate actually settlers arriving?
15:03:29 And so how important for us to have this conversation with our indigenous colleagues, and also to recognize that Friday is on Shirt Day at national indigenous people’s, day and that we appreciate that these folks are really busy this week So thank you for making the time as I said I
15:03:45 didn’t Toronto, which is the traditional territory unseated ancestral territory the Mississippi of credit the initialabic, the Chippewa the wendy at the hardness roomani and and home to diverse anyway, first nations
15:04:00 and Mit peoples, and we have. I would say, it’s ui had a number of experiences of of being challenged about the history of urbanism being an exclusive one.
15:04:12 and the practices of colonialism basically being expressed through how we build communities and how we build much of urban life.
15:04:22 And how do we come to terms with that? How do we come to terms with the truth of that?
15:04:26 And then how do we move? To what true reconciliation will look like?
15:04:29 So I appreciate our indigenous colleagues coming on this call with us to Ha!
15:04:35 And I know that we’ll have many indigenous in the cybersphere in the audience, too, so we always say these conversations are at the end they’re the beginning and and and it’s a process and how do we actually come to terms with these broken treaties and figure out where we go
15:04:51 next, and housing is a pressing ch in almost every Canadian community, but particularly in vulnerable populations, and a very particular specific kind of challenge that indigenous communities are facing indigenous people working and leaving in urban environments or in community environments or in their traditional environment so the conversation is gonna
15:05:12 cover all of that in an hour Got it. So we’re on it.
15:05:16 these folks all talk fast, and if I could encourage you to use that little frame of what’s been working, what’s not, and what’s next A number of you’ve been involved with The National Housing Council who has been reviewing the National housing strategy?
15:05:30 To figure out where it’s been falling down or not.
15:05:32 And there’s been very specific focus there that the Indians community is waiting on.
15:05:36 So we’re always interested in specific, tangible examples of changes that need to be initiated to actually make the housing system work more equitably and more effectively.
15:05:48 So I’m gonna go around the room if I can.
15:05:49 I appreciate We’ve got people coming in from different parts of the country off grid on grid hotel rooms displaced whatever some people recently retired.
15:06:01 Sylvia, you’re looking good. Recently retired.
15:06:02 Congratulations, and then some of us still in the trenches.
15:06:06 So we really appreciate a diverse view, and I’m gonna start actually with Sylvia.
15:06:09 If I’m a and the all the presenters Bios are put into the chat, as people know, so you can read great details about Sylvia, and I’m very pleased to have you come to see the city talk and give us. A perspective.
15:06:27 alright. Thank you very much. I I You probably wanna start with a comment that where cities and towns in particular were built across this country, where people who enjoy I rural environments and northern environments, quite frankly they were settled, by us and people forget that so so the whole notion.
15:06:52 of, of of urbanization, or or of housing, should come from a framework that why wouldn’t we have picked the best places ourselves, and and being this displaced is dispossessed for from that And so I I think as a as part of a bigger experience?
15:07:13 That Canada is having, with respect to reconciliation, we we need to know our history, and we need to learn facts, and and and I go.
15:07:24 Perhaps go back to to some of those things. And so what’s working is, is indigenous.
15:07:36 People articulating the need for housing where it should be, what it should look like.
15:07:41 It may not look like everyone else is. It may look like a much more integrated community.
15:07:47 I it. It will have some space in place where we can practice who we are, and remember who we are, What’s not working.
15:07:58 The Ea. Most of the system isn’t working. The fact that there isn’t safe housing, that there’s not available.
15:08:06 Housing, that there’s not affordable housing that we’re not planning for the future that we’re the costs of attempting to do any of this work is astronomical that you know We we have over I mean the the the number says we have over 300 and
15:08:23 25,000 people, homeless in any given day.
15:08:26 That number, I’m sure, is not accurate that that should be appalling to all of us in this country, and and I think even worse than that is probably the 30% or more of that population are indigenous yet we are only representing you know a little over you know 3
15:08:46 4% of the population. Our population is growing, and each young.
15:08:50 There are no opportunities for young people. There are no specialized houses.
15:08:54 We can’t take care of people who are aging, or people who have mental health needs, or or or the 2 S Lgbtq.
15:09:03 I plus community and and and we need to do it, and we can’t.
15:09:08 We plan this forever? We’ve had experiences of success and so why do we have to go through all the planning again?
15:09:18 sooner or later, it it literally hammers, nails, and concrete on on the ground, and and what should be happening next?
15:09:29 There should be an urban, rural, and northern indigenous strategy that the first nations the May T and the Inwood, who were given a housing allocations, should make sure that bills start in the community with people being invested and that quite frankly as part of
15:09:45 reconciliation that we look at allocations of how housing to certainly for urban, indigenous, and larger people who who are in in our communities and we have to go back to to peace and friendship, but making sure that basic needs are mapped so
15:10:07 that’ll be my opening, Selma. If you are.
15:10:12 Yeah, I I I well, I call in from Toronto.
15:10:16 I prefer to to talk about the history of Toronto as part of a the Saint Lawrence and and Great Lakes.
15:10:25 one dish, one spoon that before you know in, and the 11 early 1,100.
15:10:31 So. And all of the nations in that area got together and made it treaty of a peace and friendship, and it was called one dish, one spoon, because this is all we have to live and that we need to learn how to share it, that we need to to be kind with each other, and and
15:10:50 in those days they had already the prophecies that people would come here and and they would, and that we would need to protect the the water, the land, the the animals, in particular, and of course, we know that that prophecy came true and we should return, to thinking about how do How do we
15:11:13 live, together. We don’t have to be the same. But how do we?
15:10:11 Tilby, where are you calling in from
15:11:20 Thank you. You know I’m interested this no way of knowing that you look back in terms of what?
15:11:28 How we historically may have actually answered some of these challenges.
15:11:32 And then how do we then take what we know or that we’ve forgotten, and then Ca: If there are ways for us to move forward and I think that’s part of the I think that’s as you say And i’m sure i’m gonna hear this from other panelists, there there’s
15:11:46 an element of. We know what actually needs to happen here, and what are the impediments for us to actually be able to create the conditions, to build the housing we need and also, I appreciate your other point Sylvia that it’s not just housing it’s a whole bunch of things that
15:12:04 make your collective life possible, And so it’s not just one.
15:12:08 No, no, quick fix. I’m gonna go to you next, Justin.
15:12:11 If I could you could just tell us where you’re coming in from, and then some quicker intro comments about what do you think’s working?
15:12:18 thanks, me Gretchen. Mary, I’m calling in today from Adawa, more recently known as as Ottawa, which is the unseated land of Algonquin under schnauz people based in powering to saint Marie i’m The CEO of
15:12:35 the organization. That Sylvia founded Sylvia and others founded well 3 decades ago.
15:12:40 Ontario aboriginal housing services.
15:12:45 what’s working right now is community led indigenous housing, and we we know what works because we’ve been doing it for 3 decades.
15:12:56 we have culture based housing that is paired with culture based supports to give people the the help that they need to get to where it is they want in their own journey, in their own life’s path, and we know that that’s how that’s how you break cycles of poverty that’s how we
15:13:16 break this international, sorry, intergenerational trauma and create intergenerational prosperity.
15:13:24 So we know what we know, what works, What does it work?
15:13:30 Is continued paternalism in various in its various formats.
15:13:35 Whether that is government led and government directed programs and services We’ve We’ve tried that for about 150 years, and and it’s gotten us into the position we are right now, It also rears Its head in the form of mainstream, organizations trying to take the lead
15:13:55 on, on solving their their perception of what the issues are, and we know that that you know that that doesn’t work.
15:14:03 And and then in, you know, in its, in its ugliest sense, could be a form of various levels of government, contracting out a practice of colonialization.
15:14:14 Right? So we know that that doesn’t work in terms of what’s next.
15:14:21 we’re at a really interesting inflection point here.
15:14:25 Where Canadians are understanding the hard truths, some of which include that the fact there are more children, more indigenous children, and care right now than there were at the height of residential schools.
15:14:38 Canada, setting itself up for another apology. In the next 2 decades to those children who’ve been taken and are being taken from their families from their communities.
15:14:49 we know that the murdered missing, indigenous women and girls report mentioned housing 299 times, both the lack which being a contributing cause to violence, and the provision of which being a hopeful contribution to to a better place for for everyone so if we can get to
15:15:08 that point now, and this has been called on, and I’m going to repeat, so is so is call here.
15:15:15 We need. We need a foreign indigenous, bindigenous, urban rural, and northern housing strategy for the 86% of indigenous people who live in urban rural and northern areas.
15:15:29 And this is a really good opportunity for Canada who has been saying the right words for a number of years.
15:15:36 Now this is a really good opportunity for Canada to work in partnership with us to actually action.
15:15:47 wow! I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot of moments in this session where we’re just gonna have to take a bit of a breath.
15:15:55 I what I’m adjusting. I’m interested.
15:15:57 Your your comments about that. Would that you have a model community based led by the community designed by the community, managed by the community, wraparound supports offered by the community, and I’m interested what your reflection is about if if we know that model works what’s preventing us from actually implementing
15:16:21 it more robustly in other communities. Let’s say
15:16:26 Oh that’s a really good question, Mary. We’ve shown that this works, and I suppose that’s more of a question for for Canada as to why they’re why, they’re not doing it We’ve been pushing on.
15:16:40 Yeah.
15:16:44 This for decades and decades, and whether it’s a fear of change, I’m not really sure.
15:16:46 Yeah.
15:17:02 You know I have a question about this about whether then I’m gonna come to you, Margaret, and then, Marie, you’ll do clean up on this.
15:17:09 if part of it is scale, because the how and I’ll be.
15:17:16 I’ll just throw this out there, and we can all have a go to when when you’re all finished in your intros.
15:17:19 Whether or not, because housing historically encoded was built at, you know, large scale subdivisions.
15:17:27 You know the army built housing years ago is part of the dilemmas that we don’t have systems to support at the community level I don’t know.
15:17:38 I’m just throwing that out. Think about that! Justin and we’ll come back to you, Margaret.
15:17:41 I’m gonna come to you next at some. You’re in the nation’s capital, I think, or you’re in Canada’s capital, whichever nation that is I think you’re an auto in a hotel room, Thank You for making time because I think you’ve been on the hill with the housing
15:17:53 we have been in one of the pleasures and joys of of this talk is that I’ve been working with Justin all week, and so he kind of stole a little bit of some of the common themes that we’ve been talking about so I won’t.
15:18:06 Reiterate them and of course, Sylvia, as the one of the chairs of the National Housing Council, has had a lot of work with our community in terms of creating the recommendations.
15:18:17 That went to the Government around some of the gaps in the national housing strategy.
15:18:21 So just to to keep it formal and they eat Hello!
15:18:24 In the language of my Simpsons. Yeah, and sha Guangalak, which means our fire is lit welcome.
15:18:30 We encourage you to come and sit with us. So Thank you.
15:18:32 So I exam. Thank you everyone for being here. I I think probably the most important thing for me is that I flew in with jug meets, saying to come to auto.
15:18:42 I hear earlier this week, and I you know I I try to be very respectful of our elected officials, that they they have a right to their time and their privacy as well.
15:18:52 And I I grabbed the last 10 min of our flight to to to slap him with our annual report.
15:19:00 The average housing Management Association’s Annual report.
15:19:03 You guys can find it on our website at a A, Bc.
15:19:07 Org. Under resources and reports. Our our title was called Advancing Human Rights, and and Marie will speak to this a little bit more.
15:19:15 Later but one of the things that we’ve really really struggled against, that hasn’t been working is helping Canadians on.
15:19:22 Understand that in digital rights, our human rights, that how our human rights, and that the old cliche of government, one of the barriers to why we don’t get things moving in a in an efficient manner beyond your scale, question is the reality that I think it’s very comfortable to believe that we as
15:19:43 indigenous peoples, we, as not for profits, lack capacity in some way, shape or form, and so one of the things that I am particularly fond of in our annual report under advancing human rights is the ability to allocate numerous, pages of that annual report to the economic strength
15:20:01 and capacity of our providers, not of Allma, but of the 55 housing providers that have been in our process. For over 50 years, that have demonstrated their economic capacity that have demonstrated their professional capacity that have demonstrated that they get the gap between
15:20:20 distinctions, based strategies and urban indigenous strategies, And so that’s all in encompassed in that annual report, and I wanted to get it to jug meat because I wanted to kill the argument.
15:20:30 Before it even started, that there might be some capacity issue with indigenous peoples to meet the needs of their own communities.
15:20:39 If there’s any capacity issue, it’s strictly a funding issue more than anything else.
15:20:43 I mean other than what the world has witnessed since Covid, you know, with the economic crisis and recruitment and retention, and all those those things.
15:20:52 But what I what I will say. My personal connection to this, and I’ve been doing this for over 28 years, and I tell everybody my daughter’s 29 and she’ll laugh if she’s listening.
15:21:02 I always tell everybody that my daughter’s first word was not mama.
15:21:06 It in fact, was Alma, because I’ve been fighting for the average Housing Management Association for 28. Years.
15:21:13 We just celebrated 25 years and and recently over the last 5 years.
15:21:17 This November marks 5 years since the First National Housing strategy was launched here in Canada noticeably absent was the engagement of Canada’s Indigenous peoples full stop layered with that is Federal government’s ongoing failure to recognize
15:21:32 urban, indigenous peoples, and their inherit inherent rights, that we never seated, simply because we are dispossessed from our direct connections to our distinctions based, communities and I’m one of them in particular being a 60 scoop child I don’t have my
15:21:48 cultural connection. But I do still have my inherent rights to self determination.
15:21:52 But if the world didn’t recognize the complexity of issues that we as Canada’s first people’s, continue to face, most certainly the affirmations beginning with countless 215 last year, rising to well, over 10,000 affirmations, of the children that never made at home, and I
15:22:14 want to say. Talk about A moment of pause. This is probably going to be a triggering conversation, for those that have experienced the legacy.
15:22:21 Of our residential. I can’t even say schools, because where else do children who graduate from school call yourself a survivor?
15:22:30 Versus Those that did not make it home from those to their home communities, but that backdrop illustrates our ongoing vulnerability as indigenous peoples and The deep emotional responses that you know that we have to canada’s ongoing failure to include us
15:22:45 as the dispossessed from the distinctions based focus, and so layering on all of those challenges for indigenous leaders adds to the urgency for a culturally and trauma and informed response from the Canadian government on the national housing strategy and we tabled our
15:23:01 first ever for indigenous bi indigenous housing strategy.
15:23:06 On January the 20 sixth of this year, and and it really is more than about filling the gap.
15:23:13 That Government didn’t do. It’s about demonstrating once again that indigenous people have strength.
15:23:19 They have voice, and they know what they need, and they know how to implement it.
15:23:23 That’s what we’re asking the Government to recognize and Justin and I spent the last week as you.
15:23:29 You highlighted at housing on the hill, advocating for Government officials to understand that ongoing neglect of urban, indigenous people, ongoing failure to include us in a culturally and trauma-informed, manner well, only exacerbate the
15:23:45 vulnerability of our community, and that we, as leaders, will have no other choice but to go to the United Nations to raise the profile of these ongoing violation of our basic human rights and we’ve said this much to cmhc we said this much to minister Hassan and
15:23:59 I recently just talked to the Pmo’s office, indicating that we’ll have to go down that avenue if we cannot see tangible timeline set in place and implementation of all of the recommendations that came out of huma the National housing Council the Einen witnessing I
15:17:51 renewal association all week, right.
15:24:20 Yeah, we’re back to, really when we know what to do, what is preventing us from doing the right thing.
15:24:15 mean, How many more research studies do we need for them to know what needs to be done
15:24:25 Margaret. It sounds like you’re covering the waterfront, including talking to people on the plane.
15:24:30 So your’re gonna wear them down eventually. But I I think this question of kind of a historical paternalism that exists, and we can see that another jurisdiction, too.
15:24:43 And it’s it’s fundamental. Your I feel those of you that are advocating for housing is a human right, are basically saying that we we are entitled to self determine and that housing is part of that self.
15:24:58 Determination and governments should be enabling that. So I appreciate very much the perspective you’re offering. Marie.
15:25:04 We lost you for a minute. You missed Margaret’s eloquence, but you know her so you probably have a You have the gist of probably what she covered and I’m gonna turn to you now and if you, could just let us know where you’re coming in, from, and I appreciate
15:25:18 the cheer Internet, maybe a bit spotty. But let’s hope you you can hopefully.
15:25:32 Oh, honey! Gosh! Greetings everyone.
15:25:38 My name is Marina Gregor You don’t wanna click, I live in Davening in English.
15:25:43 It’s called South Bay, and South end of the Polycom, on Manitouin Island.
15:25:50 Thank you for this opportunity. Okay, what works is indigenous women being able to exercise agency independence, self sufficiency.
15:26:01 And I can speak from experience. When When I was evicted from my original family home at Whitefish River, First Nation, I went out and found a place in the bush, and I used the tent in the beginning then I graduated to a one Room, sleeping monkey and then from there added the room to it now I
15:26:24 had a 2 room, tiny home, and then from there I took the carpentry program and Wiki in 2,016, and added the third room to My tiny home.
15:25:21 You’re connection will be stable for you to tell us a little bit about your perspective of what’s working, what’s not, and what’s next?
15:26:33 Then finally in 2,018, the Chief and Council of Whitewich River decided that they did not like elders being on their own, and so they evicted me from the reserve.
15:26:46 From there I went off to. We went home My mother’s home territory, and they accepted me as a member of the Weekly Home.
15:26:54 Unseated territory. When you talk about what works I’m working on a training program, so that indigenous people and gender diverse people can learn to build our own homes from natural materials and also to if the codes and the regulations and the buildings, supply organizations
15:27:14 are not there to assist us. Then we go around them. We will without them, and we use the materials that are at end.
15:27:24 the other thing that does not work is insecure.
15:27:28 Land tenure, which is what happens on Indian reserves.
15:27:31 If you think of Canada as consisting of 100 squares, think of one of those squares.
15:26:36 Okay.
15:27:38 Now think of 2 tenths of one square, the 2 tens of one square is all the land that’s left to us on Indian reserves, and even that is not owned by indigenous people All of this is the permission of the Federal government to use and occupy so in effect if you
15:27:57 think about that. The lands have never been properly purchased from us, and there’s no purchase receipt to show us that our lands have not been purchased from us.
15:28:08 Then we still own those lens, If the terms of the treaties have not been enforced, then the treaties become more employed.
15:28:15 A treaty can only be made between sovereign, indigenous nations and the British crown, who happened to be here at the time.
15:28:23 So that means that we can exercise ownership over our ancestral traditional lands in Canada.
15:28:30 That’s what will work having cookie, cutter box hoses on an Indian reserve does not work because it does not take into account plan.
15:28:41 Structure, does not take into account traditional activities that need to be done out on the lands, and it forces us together into what I call the 4.
15:28:52 Seas, contained corral, controlled, and counted. And if you think about urban environments, think about your own.
15:29:00 And the arrangement. For example, you’re also a subject to before seeing because it’ll be alone with the bank You Have to pay on your mortgage?
15:29:09 You are also corrupted, contain, controlled, and counted.
15:29:15 So we have some things in common, and also some things that are different.
15:29:19 And what’s different is that we have our connection to the land that we need to find our way back to the land.
15:29:26 That’s where we come from, and the the earth itself is a living or living organism.
15:29:34 That’s alive, and that brought us to life. And so that’s how we see our events.
15:29:42 There’s a thing called spiritual homelessness, a term that was coined by Jesse Fisher.
15:29:48 My understanding of it is that when you’re traveling around on a great turtle island, the North, Central and South America, wherever you go, if you see a fence, says, keep out, you see a concrete barrier that says no trespassing you see another assign that says entry for
15:30:06 what that speaks to is that we are forbidden from entering our own home territories and to me that’s kind of a hard week There has to be a way to free up the land so that indigenous people are able to go back to live on our own lands
15:30:22 again, if you think that we’ve been here for 35 to 50,000 years before present, then over that 35,000 to 50,000 years before present indigenous peoples were able to provide our own housing and as justin mentioned over the last 150 years we have had to
15:30:42 continue form and provide housing that meets the standards of European Anglo-saxon Protestant legal system.
15:30:54 And when you think of it. What doesn’t work is trying to conform to a foreign legal system.
15:30:59 We have our own laws, we’ll put here to keep.
15:31:05 Take care of the animals that roots the fish, the water, and land, and if we’re prevented from doing that, what you have is an environmental crisis, that’s Google and scope need to find our way back to our lands and start to take care of it and build our own housing again, materials, are
15:31:22 all out there. There’s stones. There’s not.
15:31:27 There’s trees, there’s all kinds of stuff, and I’m sorry.
15:31:29 My Internet connection is going unstable. But I did want to put those comments up I really appreciate this opportunity.
15:31:36 Thank you so much
15:31:36 It worked, Marie. We heard every word, and and I I’ve been to Wickham Kong, and I’ve been to Whitefish Falls, so I know how beautiful it is out that window behind you, You know you the 4 of you have talked at various Scales, and I’m I’m
15:31:56 interested, where you would say we should be putting our effort Margaret’s talking about storming the un and going internationally.
15:32:06 Justin was saying, Look I I’ve got models that work at the hyper local Sylvia.
15:32:13 You toiled in this vineyard for a long time in terms of trying to get federal and provincial policies to actually line up, And Maria is giving a really profound call out to like creating conditions for communities to to chat to solve their own housing challenges and not have these rules so I’m wondering sylvia
15:32:31 and in terms of your You know this notion of intervention points in a system I’m kind of stuck on it myself, as I think about how we contribute where we contribute where we’re If you, If you think of the next couple of years Sylvia where do you think the greatest opportunity
15:32:48 for change is gonna be
15:32:55 You’re muted
15:33:06 okay.
15:33:09 So I think that that we have such a crisis in this country that we have to do that.
15:32:59 Everybody should just open your mics guys. Justin, open your mic marine. It just us now. So just open your mics, and you can home chorus, and whenever you feel like talking
15:33:19 We have to We We have to try to make interventions everywhere.
15:33:24 small municipalities, or large municipalities, or or towns, need to identify, along with provinces and territories.
15:33:32 Where do they? And I? I’m gonna use parentheses own land.
15:33:37 Where are buildings not being used? Where are offices that the Government always wants a new monument to themselves?
15:33:47 And this is, you know, too too old, or to whatever you know.
15:33:21 Yeah.
15:33:52 We tried to get a courthouse one time in Thunder Bay and make it into housing for use, getting out of care, and the town said, Oh, you can’t use it for that It’s you know well why like your it was a municipal vote and and i’ll tell you that
15:34:09 that quarter houses are usually provincial. Land, so they didn’t even have the jurisdictional word So so so you have.
15:34:17 You, You know land is. Land is a big issue, a big issue, and and as the conversation reconciliation, talking about land back, give us some.
15:34:14 I know.
15:34:24 Of the land back. Justin and I worked with with small municipalities in northern Ontario, who were always giving us land because their communities are dying, and people are leaving them, and I said to one day to justin as he was asking me to you know, take forward another notion to our
15:34:44 board, I said, Don’t just indigenous people live in this small town now, like we built all the houses.
15:34:52 I don’t know. Who else could be there, and he sort of laughed and said, Not yet, so we could expect 10 more lots being offered next year, and so so I think you have to do that and and I think in in Toronto you know, in large cities like Vancouver
15:34:35 Right.
15:35:10 Montreal. You have tons of of often old downtown cores. Those municipalities are interested in rebitalizing their core and putting families, and putting, you know, young, you know, 2 s people and all kinds in those will will bring that back and and so I think you do it I think
15:35:34 provinces don’t, as they cut back their bureaucracies, don’t have the interface to manage a number of these issues, and and don’t have people who are skilled actually in in in urban planning or northern for that matter And I don’t I make no
15:35:51 apologies to anyone who’s listening. Who who does that work?
15:35:55 but provinces have have to get in on this as well.
15:35:43 Right.
15:36:00 They have lots of land, tenure and and responsibilities to build housing, and you know I I was amazed at how quick the Federal Government could get $10 childcare across the country I mean Ontario was last to hold up.
15:36:17 Yeah, didn’t do it.
15:36:14 But but did it, and and I and so it’s possible to do.
15:36:21 And and the Federal Government has to go back it.
15:36:26 It had a very significant role up until the 1,900 eightys, and actually providing for supports and transfers for housing, and they have to get back in the business of housing.
15:36:37 But the other side of this intervention is that I I was intrigued by your your notion of scale, because I think really in Canada, regardless of where we live, we are a bunch of small communities you know I live in the downtown.
15:36:55 Core of of Toronto. Around the market, and it’s a small community, and you know, when you talk about gas down in Vancouver, Utah, I mean, we are a couple of villages that, become and we’ll be.
15:37:10 In some respects; but I think, when you talk about scale and and I I I think both the work I’ve done with Margaret and and Justin.
15:37:19 we find that people do want to work together, we don’t find that people aren’t interested.
15:37:25 And nowadays even developers are coming to us, and developers are coming and saying, Can we do this?
15:37:32 And the fact of the matter. It it is, and there are projects where people can can work together and get along.
15:37:41 And so, But at the basis of this Margaret, I think, raised one of the issues which is, whether or not they think that we have have the skills and the knowledge to go through the experience.
15:37:53 But the other thing is that fundamentally people have not be colonized, that that individuals of us don’t look at what is, W.
15:37:49 That’s great.
15:38:03 What do we have to do and we have to do it, too, because we’re used to, You know I I come from from the Mohawk nation. The Iraq confederacy who chose not to make an agreement with the crown.
15:38:15 using the words, Great White Father, or King, but rather we will be brothers.
15:38:22 Now pre-consciousness and European history about the role that women play which most Margaret and Brie have spoken to, but that we would be equal in terms of that word brother or sister’s and going along in the path together and I think that that the areas of this enormous
15:38:43 change societally going on in the country, and we have to make amends, which means we cannot do the same things.
15:38:50 The same way, And so let’s start to look at.
15:38:53 How do we? How do, How do, How do we create a series of villages in communities?
15:39:00 Or metropolitan areas where people can feel like they belong, and they’re not just outsiders.
15:39:08 well, and that’s the truth, in truth, and reconciliation.
15:39:10 And it’s more than just a day On September thirtieth It’s about an acting change at all levels of government and all levels of community.
15:39:19 Before we will actually see successful implementation and sustainability of the solutions that Justin talked about, that we’ve already evidenced for 39 years in his organization.
15:39:06 And we’re not just parallel playing
15:39:31 25 years and hours, 50 plus years. In many of the native housing providers.
15:39:35 That’s the funding programs that most of our providers across Canada were funded under initially they’ve been on the ground for 50 plus years, and we can evidence that we’ve had that capacity but but truth and reconciliation is about letting go of those old
15:39:52 myths, letting go of the stereotypes, and the common belief that indigenous people lack capacity or lack expertise But the other piece I’m just gonna touch on it with that Sylvia talked about all levels. Of government I was just at the ubcm the Union of
15:40:07 Bc municipalities event. 2 weeks ago, and what I heard loud and clear from mayors and counselors from across the to be see was that the Federal Government simply has not stepped up to the plate of the last 20 years, which makes sense since they got out of the housing realm in any way shape
15:40:24 or form to help alleviate the crisis that we’re in right now, and that includes more than just the bricks and mortar of housing we have neglected infrastructure we have communities where if the river freezes a 150 homes are isolated.
15:40:40 From access to medical services, food services, their basic heating and and and electric supplies could be cut off I mean, and they’re stuck like that until the river thoughts.
15:40:51 And yet we have yet to address how to get them their utilities in a way that could sustain their weather environment.
15:40:59 So there’s a there’s a huge intersectionality at all levels of government needing to collaborate, to provide the more holistic solutions.
15:41:08 And Sylvia talked about the whole land back piece, Landback isn’t just about it.
15:41:27 I I mean, you really do have to operate at multiple levels here.
15:41:30 I can hear that and the land back notion. At least it There’s a tangibility to that.
15:41:37 I think you know it gives a government something to focus on, like Find the land that you have, as you said, Sylvia.
15:41:44 There are, we know, examples across the country where there’s a piece of land that’s owned publicly.
15:41:51 That’s sitting doing nothing. And the question is, can it be?
15:41:52 Could it not be made available? Justin, you have really double down on this.
15:41:58 It must be something to have the same name First name is the Prime Minister.
15:42:01 Every time I heard Sylvia talk I had to think which, Justin, is she talking you She could be like Margaret talking to the other Justin on a plane.
15:41:12 Distinctions based focus. It’s about recognize that indigenous people are inherent, writes title owners as well, and should be included and factored into those discussions when it comes to critical land back conversations
15:42:07 But you know, when you’re focusing on your I’m sure you’ve talked to the 2 when you’re talking very tangible supports.
15:42:16 Justin, have you tried to hold all those things to be true?
15:42:20 Somebody in the chat is asking what your general views are to the income that Did anybody see this, I’ll see if I can find it again.
15:42:39 yeah, sure, thanks, Mary. And I’d love to debate the the other Justin, as I call them.
15:42:47 the the National Housing strategy. He was quoted as staying.
15:42:51 No relationship is more important than our relationship with indigenous people.
15:42:29 that there’s an initiative that’s been done around distributing income and whether that’s an intervention point or or do you think it’s better to just do some projects, get Some models go ahead justin give us a sense of
15:42:53 Yeah, there we were at the back half of the National housing strategy and leaving out 86% of indigenous people.
15:42:53 Hmm.
15:43:01 Crazy. Yeah.
15:43:00 that was that was almost 5 years ago. In terms of I I’m not sure about the Internet
15:43:12 Again. That’s probably a question for for Canada, for for Mr.
15:43:07 But why do you? What, Justin? Why did that happen
15:43:16 Trudeau, but what I can say in terms of scale is that we are absolutely ready, Mary.
15:43:25 The The Federal Government has been out of urban indigenous housing for almost 29 years.
15:43:30 Now, when when the urban native housing programs were got it, and the Federal Government has not returned in a meaningful way to urban indigenous housing.
15:43:35 Hmm.
15:43:41 Since then, when you talk about scale, I like, I call Bunk on that.
15:43:46 And the reason why I do is because, for example, in Ontario we have 35, urban indigenous housing providers, 30 friendship centers.
15:43:57 Almost 30 Mity councils. 10 Ontario needed women chapters, plus many more local councils, that, despite the Federal Government’s exit, 29 years ago, we, our own organizations, for example, We grew from serving 0 people to Today, serving 11,000 people and that was without the federal
15:44:19 government support that we need. So imagine what we could do together.
15:44:18 Without any.
15:44:23 Yes, if those words that were spoken are actually action, community members will come out in droves to make this happen.
15:44:23 Yeah.
15:44:38 But it’s interesting. It’s interesting. You built your own infrastructure, your social infrastructure.
15:44:44 People working together. And now you’re you’re basically laid it out and said, we just need Federal support to come and make it possible for us to work collectively together.
15:44:33 So scale is not scale is the last thing that I’m concerned about in terms of invitation.
15:44:52 So you you self organized right even with open. Yeah, Marie, what would you say to that?
15:45:02 You’re you’re a self-organized in terms of when you described the different stages that you’ve taken post eviction.
15:45:10 But in terms of what Justin is suggesting, I think what I guess what I meant with scale was more, that we have a housing system that built big suburbs and that we didn’t.
15:45:19 We didn’t seem to. We don’t seem to have a housing system that can build in smaller increments Maybe I’m wrong about that but maybe there’s an opportunity for us to you have the indigenous is actually create more and more I’m assuming but maybe not always justin I
15:45:32 was gonna say, not-for-profit housing, indigenous led housing, but we know there’s a for profit developer working in Vancouver.
15:45:38 So maybe it doesn’t have to be either. But, Marie, what’s your sense of what the next step would be?
15:45:01 can I Huge
15:45:42 That would be to support the community that you’re familiar with
15:45:53 Hmm.
15:45:48 when we’re talking about housing, I keep coming back to agency and self sufficiency, I mean attendance For instance, if you look at the homeless, so arrangements that they have been able to make for themselves they’re living, with pants.
15:46:06 And unfortunately, the media calls those encampments, They’re not encampments.
15:46:04 Hmm, hmm.
15:46:10 Their villages, and the other problem with terminology is that the lawyers called my tiny home structures.
15:46:21 They weren’t instructors. It was a home, So terminology is also very important.
15:46:27 And so what needs to happen is for indigenous women, particularly single parent women also the seniors, and also those who, or getting lost in the cities, need to be able to learn how to build our own homes again in in pre-polarial times, a michelle they quick We’re
15:46:49 responsible for putting up the homes, and it was the mission of, and then walk that we’re responsible for defense and territory.
15:46:57 So we have a history of being able to provide our own housing.
15:47:02 So what I see is first, the training be able to learn how to do these things.
15:46:23 Right.
15:47:07 We also need the land back more to have a place to put a home.
15:47:12 You You can’t talk about housing without also talking about the land, and unfortunately, in Canada.
15:47:18 Now we have a situation where real estate and housing is so financialized that you can even begin to talk about it without thinking about.
15:47:27 Oh, we need to go and get a loan at the bank.
15:47:30 Oh, I don’t have a good credit store. Oh, I can’t afford it!
15:47:34 And how many people does that leave out? What? In fact, if you exercise ownership over your own indigenous hello, your land title, which exists in 99 and 8 pence percent of Canada Yeah, that’s the beginning then women i’m thinking of women and predicting because that’s who I
15:47:52 am, can learn how to build our own homes again. And I’m not excluding anybody anybody that wants to learn how to build their own homes should be able to and get the truth trading to be able to do that we kind of know how disrespectful the trades in the street is to
15:48:12 women, to gender diverse people, and we need to overcome that.
15:48:18 We also know how how much of an obstacle the building supplies.
15:48:24 Industry is let me think about the cost of building supplies that tripled just during the pandemic time.
15:48:30 That put it out of reach, Even more of the ordinary person.
15:48:34 And I keep thinking about the person in the tenth in the city.
15:48:37 That person, exercise agency? No, it’s not a 2 by 4 home No, it’s not stone.
15:48:44 No, it’s not masonry, but it is a framework with a plus cover.
15:48:49 And she they alright, are able to. Get shelter from the elements for them.
15:48:55 At that moment. That’s their home, you know. I see those things as homes, and I see the places where they collect together those are villages.
15:49:04 Okay, and and like Sylvia, said, cities are not just cities.
15:49:09 They’re places where indigenous people live for thousands of years before present, and also we were able to provide for ourselves in in that period.
15:49:20 Why can you not go back to perfect fighting for ourselves? But for now we need, we need the codes and bylaws to make way for indigenous people.
15:49:30 We need some kind of follow assistance to get it. Kick started and off the ground, and working.
15:49:38 Otherwise, if they’re too restrictive, then people are, gonna take matters into their own hands and start building stone houses and keeps, and weak ones and all kinds of structures to take care of themselves, And I think that’s already happening, open the bush in Canada so I just wanted to add that thank
15:49:58 Marie, if I could add, Marie, I. The pleasure of meeting Marie a number of months ago, as they were working with the keepers of the Circle and the Women’s National Housing and homelessness network in launching a human rights claim without Federal housing Advocate which we are
15:50:15 still journeying down that, but there was a a lovely young woman and author.
15:50:19 Her name is Katlia. She released the book very recently called.
15:50:23 This house is not a home, and as we’re coming up to the truth and reconciliation day on the thirtieth, I would encourage everybody to to get that book, and read it, because it really does kind of hit home on the issues, that we’re hearing here at this talk about the reality of of
15:50:41 how 153 years of colonization has created an unsustainable system, not even for the indigenous peoples, for first nations.
15:50:49 Betty and Inuate. But for everybody, and that’s what we heard.
15:50:52 Loud and clear at Uvcm, but from an indigenous lens.
15:50:56 What we’ve been admitting and lobbying for full stop is that nothing about us without us that they can’t continue in acting policies and practices, and programs that were designed not for indigenous peoples and expect us to fit them and it.
15:51:14 Caused me great anxiety when I heard Cmhc say the other day, and Justin, you and I didn’t get a chance to to to speak to that today when we met with Cmhc because of Course Cmh.
15:51:26 Is trying to enact the recommendations out of the National Housing Council and out of Huma.
15:51:29 after a parliamentary change which was their current reason for not moving on progress, Their answer was well in the meantime we’re going to wrap availability of existing national housing programs.
15:51:43 To indigenous populations, but the reality is, if you’re creating funding models and housing program models that were not designed with indigenous people for indigenous people there’s a high percentage that those solutions do not meet the basic core cultural, trauma informed
15:52:01 needs, of indigenous peoples, and that’s what’s been failing.
15:52:05 And so we’re seeing government continue to make the same mistakes I made before they got out of the game.
15:52:10 29 years ago, as Justin said. So we go back to the critical, you know, when I say storm the United Nations.
15:52:17 It’s really more about saying we’ve been listening to you for 5 years.
15:52:21 Make promises, of inclusion, of urban, indigenous peoples.
15:52:25 Never mind the distinctions based strategies that need to get rolled out, and we’re seeing very little movements.
15:52:31 And when they do speak of movement we hear of dollars, but we don’t hear about the actual measurable outcomes.
15:52:37 So how many units did that translate? To how many senses of cultural safety and belonging did that translate to?
15:52:45 They don’t measure that they don’t map that because they’re strategies.
15:52:59 So? Can I ask a tangible question to the 4 of you about How do we?
15:53:05 How do we do this? How do we ensure that indigenous people with expertise and cultural understanding are the ones that write these policies and design these programs?
15:53:19 What are the steps that in your experience work, so that a government program would be by and for the community.
15:53:28 That would. That would. That needs and then will benefit from it.
15:52:49 We’re not based for indigenous people, and that’s why strategies that are going to go forward need to be custom drafted with indigenous people, indigenous outcomes.
15:53:36 First of all, we’re all examples of that, I mean.
15:53:39 If Sylvia were to narrate her history of getting into this industry, as a leadership, decisions that were required, there was probably no Government agency going.
15:53:32 How do you have examples of where that’s happened? Maybe at a provincial level or a municipal level.
15:53:48 How can we support you, dear Sylvia, or Justin, or even Marie, You know, in all likelihoods, and and we’re having this conversation, and I know Justin will reach out, to Sylvia in in in another, manner but but but I think some tangible examples, are exactly
15:54:06 to look at those models that happen and successful, The Ontario aboriginal at Ofc.
15:54:12 At the average Housing Management association at tangible lived experiences like Maurice to say, Let’s just do it.
15:54:19 Why are we waiting to ask for permission from government to create what we we know?
15:54:23 We need. Why do we not come together and do what we know is needed, and then say, Here we are.
15:53:53 Right.
15:54:29 Here’s the answer. Is, Margaret, to have this?
15:54:32 Have the stories been collected and told is that part of it that we just that there are isolated examples, and we haven’t made the case, Or is there resistance in government, or or what I wondered at the end?
15:54:45 That you just said if there were were a funding on envelope approach where the Federal Government makes money available to to local communities, and then you determine how you spend it.
15:54:54 I mean that that is the opposite to paternalism.
15:54:57 I think, Justin Justin is nodding and maybe Sylvia, I don’t know.
15:54:58 well.
15:55:01 If if we’re lucky it’ll be maternalism.
15:55:01 Is there a fun
15:55:04 It’s it’s often it’s it’s often women from our community who come forward and and try to find the piece.
15:55:10 So so the the system, the system, has to change. There There needs to be an allocated model.
15:55:05 On maternalism.
15:55:17 It it’s reasonable We’re we’re we’re spending billions of dollars in keeping people homeless.
15:55:22 We could reframe that and say that part of the answer to that is to build the kind of housing that people are going to be comfortable They’ve done a great project in winnipeg where they built a twenty-some tiny homes.
15:55:36 For chronically homeless people, that these people who will be on speech for years and and they built it on land that they haven’t one of the cultural centers your bird, house and and all all is going well and people are gonna be off the streets this winter and they
15:55:53 have a place, and they feel safe. They involve the people who are gonna live in it, who who had, who said, You know we don’t.
15:55:18 Okay.
15:56:00 We haven’t ever felt safe anywhere. We don’t feel safe at shelters, so so don’t don’t make with windows big enough for people to break in like we need you.
15:56:08 Know it was interesting. The exercise they they exist. So the final, the final short answer is we’re trying to do it right now in the spheres that we’re in Margaret and myself.
15:56:20 And and Justin are working. We’re working at with the indigenous caucus of Canadian Housing Renewal Association.
15:56:28 We’re working with with Cmhc, and we’re based be saying you do your job.
15:56:34 You get a successful cabinet document through will give you all the information, and we will do our job, which is, bring the right people to the table, and create culture base purses that will work and once and if you and if you keep doing it because it’s not a one off how’s it going to something you need for your whole
15:56:53 life. Then we will promise you that there will be huge leaps forward in indigenous communities in this country, and in it is families because we’ll be able to take care of our kids to help our seniors to find what safe and culturally appropriate means.
15:57:13 For us and we’ll actually have our own self determination.
15:57:25 in fact, we’ve been able to evidence through all of these models.
15:57:29 Justin has his data that supports it. We have ours that we return on investment directly over 240% for every dollar community back to the broader community for every dollar invested in urban indigenous housing strategies and solutions We return 240 over 7
15:57:46 100% on social impacts return on investment. So so there is no way to lose this.
15:57:58 So it sounds like we’ve got success stories. We’ve got data.
15:58:03 We’ve got models. We’ve got some myths that need to be debunked about capacity.
15:58:09 We’ve got a commitment to hold Government’s accountable to commitments that they have verbally made that seem to have not been able to tangibly demonstrate?
15:58:21 Are there any other key pieces of the puzzle? Justin and Marie, that we that the folks on the the session today need to be mindful of any other. Key?
15:58:43 Hi! It’s Marie. I wanna jump in on this one, I think.
15:58:47 What would help is for the legal system to think about land differently, as in many lots that people can actually afford to live in.
15:58:32 O And land that we’re gonna prioritize getting let public land! Delegated Justin Justin Emery any last thoughts from you about other key things that need to that we need to commit to
15:58:55 I have a vision of all these little lots on the Don Valley parkway, on the we slope there with these little mobile houses on them.
15:59:00 Yup
15:59:04 Yeah, I mean, I agree with you. I I I think you know, just encouraging people to open their eyes, Marie.
15:59:11 I mean, you’ve done that by saying, Look at all the signs we have that prohibit people from adding access.
15:59:16 That’s a very telling thing Signs And then, as you suggest, look at all the ways that different people try to make a home for themselves and to turn that into a more positive thing.
15:59:27 Than an negative. I think these are very important points, Justin.
15:59:04 okay.
15:59:32 Right now, at this point, we need political action. We saw how fast the the Federal Government could move during the during the pandemic, and so we need to see that that’s sort of quickness and action and commitment from the Federal Government with respect to urban indigenous
15:59:30 What would you like to suggest? One more thing
15:59:53 Yeah, and we’ve all got to hold them accountable to.
15:59:56 I mean, we are the government. That’s us right. So we have to really do that kind of Margaret by popular demand.
16:00:02 One more time the book that you referred to that people should get on Friday.
16:00:06 Can you just pull it out to people again
16:00:15 Ca: This house is not a home from Katya.
16:00:17 We’ll put it up on the counter website. You can see it.
16:00:19 Thank you so much for joining us, Sylvia.
16:00:22 Justin, Marie and Margaret. Really, what a really privilege for us to be able to have that to an hour with you, and for us to think.
16:00:30 And reflect now and as you suggest, not just on Friday every day, in terms of actually putting into action what our truth and reconciliation process needs to be in this country.
16:00:38 Really The 4 of you were a great inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing the time.
16:00:41 Nice to see you again, and I look forward, you know that’s never the end.

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15:03:07 From Claire Brewster to Hosts and panelists : Aanii from Toronto
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15:04:11 From Amy Britten : Hi Amy from Kitchener, located on the Traditional Territory/Ancestral Lands of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Neutral People.
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15:06:32 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute to Hosts and panelists : Sylvia Maracle
Sylvia Maracle Consulting
15:06:38 From Stephanie Lowe : Hello from the traditional territories of the Sto:lo people, the Sumas First Nation and Matsqui First Nation. 🙂
15:06:38 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute to Hosts and panelists : Sylvia Maracle is a Mohawk from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territories. Maracle recently retired after 45 years in the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres. Maracle is a member of the National Housing Council and is Founding Chair of Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services. Maracle’s work has focused on Indigenous urban experiences, ending violence, support for the 2SLGBTQI+ community, education, health and cultural revitalization.
15:08:04 From Mary Rowe to Sarah Woodgate and all panelists : hi 🙂
15:09:23 From Rachel Templeton : Hello from Treaty One Territory, Traditional Land of Ojibwe, Dakota, and Cree People, and historic homeland of the Metis (Portage la Prairie, MB)
15:09:48 From Shawn McNamara : Hello from London Ontario
15:10:39 From Garnet Borch : Greetings from Amiskwaciy Waskahikan (Edmonton)
15:12:27 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute to Hosts and panelists : Justin Marchand
CEO, Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services
15:12:37 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute to Hosts and panelists : Justin is Métis and was appointed CEO of Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS) in 2018. Justin has been with OAHS since 2009, and previously held the titles of Director of Corporate Operations and Programs Delivery Manager.
Justin is on the board of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association and is Chair of its Indigenous Caucus Working Group. Justin is also an active board member for the Coalition of Hamilton Indigenous Leadership and the Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig in Bawaating. Justin believes that housing is a fundamental human right and that when Indigenous people have access to safe, affordable, and culture-based housing this provides the opportunity to improve other areas of their life.
15:14:33 From Larry Bellerose to Hosts and panelists : Greetings from Bawating Sault Ste Marie
15:15:36 From Maxine Mease : Hello from Treaty 8 Territory in Northern BC the Dane-Zaa people are the traditional keepers of this land.
15:17:28 From Kevin Devitt : Not sure if this initiative will be discussed, but I FYI I just learned about this today:
15:17:57 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute to Hosts and panelists : Margaret Pfoh
Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Housing Management Association
15:18:09 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute to Hosts and panelists : Margaret Pfoh is Tsimshian from the Eagle Clan of the Gitga’at First Nation. She bring more than 22 years of housing management experience and is currently the Chief Executive Officer for the Aboriginal Housing Management Association. She was the longstanding CEO of Mamele’awt Qweesome/To’o Housing Society (MQHS). During Margaret’s tenure in housing, her team spearheaded the creation of an Urban Village concept at MQHS—a full-spectrum rental housing concept, rooted in indigenous culture and welcoming to the whole community.
15:18:26 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Margaret Pfoh
Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Housing Management Association
15:18:32 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Margaret Pfoh is Tsimshian from the Eagle Clan of the Gitga’at First Nation. She bring more than 22 years of housing management experience and is currently the Chief Executive Officer for the Aboriginal Housing Management Association. She was the longstanding CEO of Mamele’awt Qweesome/To’o Housing Society (MQHS). During Margaret’s tenure in housing, her team spearheaded the creation of an Urban Village concept at MQHS—a full-spectrum rental housing concept, rooted in indigenous culture and welcoming to the whole community.
15:19:44 From Abby Slater (she/her) : Hear hear—housing as a human right….
15:20:39 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Earlier this year, CMHC published a research brief about urban, rural, and northern Indigenous housing.
15:20:48 From CUI : You can find the report Margaret is talking about here:
15:21:37 From Sarah Woodgate : Brilliant! Mythbusting about sector capacity!
15:22:09 From Geoffrey Bodnarek : What do you think of the current income assistance legislation for on reserve members and does it need to change?
15:22:14 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Read and endorse AHMA’s Indigenous Housing Strategy
15:22:18 From adriana dossena : Greetings from tkaronto, inhabitant of one dish one spoon treaty territory. Couldn’t agree more on advancing human rights via housing & integrated strategies
15:23:30 From Marie McGregor Pitawanakwat : Hi Kate, I experienced a glitch in my connection to the webinar. Would you be able to provide me a phone link to join in case this happens again? Thanks.
15:24:07 From CUI to Marie McGregor Pitawanakwat(Direct Message) : Hi marie! I will send you the number in one second
15:24:34 From Abby Slater (she/her) : Can the panelists give examples of some of the specific recommendations?
15:24:47 From Abby Slater (she/her) : Inclusion of course in all decisions…but what else?
15:25:13 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Marie McGregor Pitawanakwat
15:25:20 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Marie is an Anishinaabe-kwe elder of Wiigwaaskinaga. For government purposes, Marie is a status “Indian” registered with Whitefish River First Nation, part of the Robinson Huron Treaty, located at Birch Island, Ontario. Marie lives “off-the-grid” on traditional indigenous territory within the borders of Whitefish River First Nation, harvesting wood from the land for firewood, accessing lake water for domestic use, and in a “tiny house” in the shelter of a cedar grove.
Marie holds a BA from Trent University in Aboriginal Studies; an MBA from Queen’s University; and a CELTA from Cambridge. Her work as a university instructor, evaluation researcher, academic department head, training services entrepreneur, and as an ESL instructor has taken her to Northwestern and Northeastern Ontario, Northern Manitoba, and Japan.
15:25:35 From CUI to Marie McGregor Pitawanakwat(Direct Message) : i have emailed you the phone information
15:25:57 From Stephanie Lowe : Where will the recording of this session be saved/shared?
15:26:47 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Stephanie: the video should be available on Monday.
15:27:04 From Stephanie Lowe : Thank you! And where can we access it?
15:27:06 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute :
15:27:10 From Stephanie Lowe : Perfect – thanks
15:32:00 From Bertina Lou : When was AHMA’s Advancing Human Rights report released? Thanks!
15:33:09 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Sylvia Maracle
Sylvia Maracle Consulting
15:33:16 From Stephanie Lowe : Hi Bertina. It is AHMA’s annual report which was released this month. It’s available here:
15:33:16 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Sylvia Maracle is a Mohawk from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territories. Maracle recently retired after 45 years in the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres. Maracle is a member of the National Housing Council and is Founding Chair of Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services. Maracle’s work has focused on Indigenous urban experiences, ending violence, support for the 2SLGBTQI+ community, education, health and cultural revitalization.
15:35:14 From Rachel Templeton : Great point ! We try to come up with creative/innovative housing ideas and then we face current polices as a barrier 🙁
15:37:57 From Rachel Templeton : YES!!! I just said that last month, we are able to implement the $10/day care (which is awesome) in a very short time, we should be able to the same with housing!!! We can figure out care for tiny humans, we should be able to for housing!
15:38:33 From Marie McGregor Pitawanakwat : The situation now is that Canada continues to attempt to colonize.
15:39:17 From Abby Slater (she/her) : Beautifully said.
15:39:24 From Christina Sisson : So true! Please do not keep doing the same thing that has been done…we need change!
15:40:00 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Margaret Pfoh is Tsimshian from the Eagle Clan of the Gitga’at First Nation. She bring more than 22 years of housing management experience and is currently the Chief Executive Officer for the Aboriginal Housing Management Association. She was the longstanding CEO of Mamele’awt Qweesome/To’o Housing Society (MQHS). During Margaret’s tenure in housing, her team spearheaded the creation of an Urban Village concept at MQHS—a full-spectrum rental housing concept, rooted in indigenous culture and welcoming to the whole community.
15:40:39 From Rachel Templeton : I would love to connect with you folks on this zoom chat!
15:42:12 From Abby Slater (she/her) : (me too Mary!!) re Justin
15:42:41 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Justin Marchand
CEO, Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services
15:42:47 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Justin is Métis and was appointed CEO of Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS) in 2018. Justin has been with OAHS since 2009, and previously held the titles of Director of Corporate Operations and Programs Delivery Manager.
Justin is on the board of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association and is Chair of its Indigenous Caucus Working Group. Justin is also an active board member for the Coalition of Hamilton Indigenous Leadership and the Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig in Bawaating. Justin believes that housing is a fundamental human right and that when Indigenous people have access to safe, affordable, and culture-based housing this provides the opportunity to improve other areas of their life.
15:45:27 From Ken Jones : Not to mention having all levels of government actually live up to and fulfill agreements and contracts that are already in place.
15:57:32 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : The Canadian Urban Institute is thrilled to be hosting the 2022 Livable Cities Forum in partnership with ICLEI Canada and the City of Victoria. Join us in Victoria this October 3-5 as we convene urban leaders to strategize on climate action and equity. Visit to learn more and register.
15:57:38 From Shilo Darling : Well said… well said… thank you
15:58:06 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Our next CityTalk is “Office-to-Housing Conversions: What Are the Trends and Opportunities for Canada’s Downtowns?” RSVP at
15:58:38 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Please join me in thanking our amazing panellists today.
15:58:54 From Jennifer Tanner : Thank you!
15:59:02 From Yvonne Di Tullio : Thank you
15:59:05 From Micaela Butron : Thank you Panelists!
15:59:11 From Naomi Martel : Thank you
15:59:12 From Erin Lloyd : Thank you everyone! I’ve learned a great deal and I appreciate you all taking the time to teach us!
15:59:18 From Ruth Renaud : Thank you very much.
15:59:26 From Rachel Templeton : what was the name of the women’s organization and the book sorry …. it cut out on my end
15:59:32 From Rachel Templeton : Miigwech 1
15:59:35 From Shawn McNamara : Thank-you panelists, this has been fantastic.
15:59:36 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : Sylvia Maracle, Margaret Pfoh, Justin Marchand, and Marie McGregor Pitawanakwat
15:59:36 From Sarah Steele : Thank you!
15:59:50 From Dean Deschamps : Thank you!
16:00:07 From Kayla Furlone : Wonderful panelists, thank you so much. I hope to see them again on CUI.
16:00:10 From Garnet Borch : Thanks for all of your commitment, passion, and knowledge. So much power in these presenters
16:00:18 From Bert Pereboom :
16:00:23 From Erin Lloyd : The third book from acclaimed Dene, Cree and Metis writer Katłįà, This House Is Not a Home
16:00:24 From adriana dossena : Incredible work! Would protocols for access to land help ‘validate’ unconventional approaches to housing? Ie de-risk liability of land holders who might be willing to return land?
16:00:28 From Maria Novo : Thank you!
16:00:34 From Abby Slater (she/her) : Thank you all…really interesting conversation.
16:00:34 From Karla Bonilla : Thank you so much for your time and knowledge
16:00:35 From Cecile Roslin : Great talk everyone!
16:00:41 From Paula Bowley : Thanks you!
16:00:44 From Jessica Chen to Hosts and panelists : Great talk !
16:00:46 From Nick Hanson — Canadian Urban Institute : This House is Not a Home
16:00:46 From Melanie Neves to Hosts and panelists : Thank you all from the Junction, Toronto!
16:00:47 From Sarah Adair to Hosts and panelists : Thank you!
16:00:48 From Veronica Reiss : Thank you!!
16:00:48 From Jennifer McPhee : Thank you!
16:00:48 From Oscar Chan : Thank you!
16:00:57 From Chelsea Combot : Excellent session! Maarsi!