Successive governments have failed to fully acknowledge and address the intergenerational harm and trauma on Indigenous peoples from Canada’s colonial history and its legacy of dislocation, land theft, residential schools, and genocide. Indigenous peoples today continue to face systemic racism in the healthcare, education, and justice systems, as well as discrimination in key areas such as housing and employment. Too many Indigenous communities still do not have reliable access to cleaning drinking water. Violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLBTQIA+ people is so bad that the National Inquiry called it a genocide.

Implementing Indigenous rights need to be at the heart of everything that we do.

Indigenous leaders and advocates have already given us frameworks to work towards meaningful reconciliation. We must implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, all Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and all Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry’s Final Report. We must bridge the housing, education, health, resource and access gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. We must ensure Indigenous communities have the adequate resources to give meaningful free, informed and prior consent to resource development projects and decisions that impact Indigenous peoples. There is no time to waste.

IN PARLIAMENT: VIDEO - Calling for the urban, rural and northern indigenous housing strategy promised by the Liberal government

Madam Speaker, on April 8, 2022, I rose to ask the government when it would invest in a “for indigenous, by indigenous” urban, rural and northern housing strategy, which it has promised since 2017 but has failed to deliver. After the NDP pushed for action, the Liberals proposed just $300 million to initiate a strategy over five years. This is hardly a drop in the bucket and is not good enough. We need a federal government response that meets the gravity of this national crisis.
The situation in my community is so dire that it literally keeps me up at night. People are dying and lives are at stake. On July 25, fire officials issued an order to immediately disperse an encampment of the unhoused, who are disproportionately represented by indigenous people seeking shelter and community together in tents along East Hastings Street, citing serious fire safety concerns. When these tents come down, there will be nowhere for people to go. Meanwhile, residents are being increasingly targeted by threats of violence and criminalized by authorities.
There are simply not enough safe and affordable homes for people to move into. There are currently more than 2,000 identified homeless individuals in the city, and this number is likely an undercounting. About 40% are indigenous, meaning that indigenous people are nearly 18 times more likely to be homeless in Vancouver compared with the rest of the population.

UBCIC JOINT LETTER: Urgent Housing Crisis Emergency

UBCIC JOINT LETTER: Urgent Housing Crisis Emergency

Follow-Up Open Letter Re: Urgent Housing Crisis Emergency
We write you with renewed urgency about how the ongoing national housing crisis affects residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). The dire and life-threatening situation facing unhoused people will not resolve without federal leadership and immediate intervention and we plead for your action. The situation is a mounting human rights crisis as governments are failing to ensure the right to safe dignified shelter to those most in need and requires an urgent distinction and rights-based approach.

MEDIA RELEASE - Liberals are failing to address police violence

“Today, the inquiry into the death of Chantel Moore, an Indigenous woman who was killed by police in New Brunswick during a routine wellness check is set to begin. We hope this investigation into her tragic death will finally give her family and community the answers they deserve.
A wellness check, carried out by a police officer, should never result in death. This cannot be allowed to continue. The government has a responsibility to ensure systemic change so that all communities are served by police forces in Canada.
Sadly, there are many examples of police violence against Indigenous and racialized people. The Feminist Alliance for International Action’s (FAFIA) recent report found that there is a pattern of discrimination, harassment and assault against Indigenous women by officers of the RCMP.

MEDIA RELEASE - The Pope’s visit must be more than a symbolic gesture

“Indigenous peoples have long called on the Catholic Church to show leadership in the Truth and Reconciliation process. The news that Pope Francis will visit Canada is met with a myriad of emotions by the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The hurch’s role in the genocide perpetrated against Indigenous peoples still affects families and communities today.
While Indigenous peoples deserve an unequivocal apology from the Catholic Church, immediate action is urgently needed to ensure healing from crimes committed against Inuit, First Nations and Metis, at the hands of the churches.

MEDIA RELEASE - Indigenous Peoples still need the resources to heal as more unmarked graves are found

“Today, my heart goes out to the George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan as they process the devastating discovery of 14 potential unmarked burial sites close to the former George Gordon Indian Residential School. Indigenous Peoples across Canada feel this pain as we are once again reminded of the genocide that was perpetrated and still goes on to this day.
The Prime Minister has promised to take significant steps to help communities heal and find truth, but many Indigenous communities still lack the resources they need.
New Democrats continue their calls for the Liberal government to give Indigenous Peoples the truth and justice they are owed.

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