HANSARD: If there is to be true reconciliation, there needs to be investments commensurate with need for Indigenous people on reserve and off reserve

House of Commons Hansard #242 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session
Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings
October 30, 2023  5:20 p.m.

Niki Ashton Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, MB

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her powerful message today and for her fight on housing on behalf of our entire caucus.

We in the NDP have pushed the Liberal government, as my colleague pointed out, to invest in urban indigenous housing and northern housing, but we have also been very clear that the Liberal government is nowhere near where it needs to be when it comes to investing in first nations housing and on-reserve housing. Many of the first nations I represent are facing an acute housing crisis. I would say that all of the first nations face a housing crisis, but for remote communities it is particularly acute. We are talking about overcrowded housing and mouldy homes. We are talking about absolutely inadequate housing.

We know that successive Liberal and Conservative governments have failed first nations when it comes to housing. We know that the current Liberal government loves to talk about reconciliation, but reconciliation ought to mean investing in housing and addressing the housing crisis on first nations. I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on this front.

Jenny Kwan Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for her advocacy for the community, not just on the housing front but on every aspect of the rights for indigenous peoples. She has been there fighting for them.

I have to say that I remain disappointed with the government's lack of commitment in ensuring that housing is a basic human right, no matter who one is or where one comes from, right across this country. Indigenous people suffer on many fronts due to Canada's colonial history, and housing is one aspect of that.

We also know from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and its report recommendations that one of the significant reasons indigenous women and girls are subject to violence is the lack of housing. From that perspective, if there is to be true reconciliation, there needs to be investments commensurate with need for indigenous people on reserve and off reserve. No matter where they are, that housing right should follow them, and we should honour the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Latest posts

Are you ready to take action?

Constituent Resources
Mobile Offices
Contact Jenny

Sign up for updates