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.

HANSARD: Jenny spoke on on Bill C-20, An Act establishing the Public Complaints and Review Commission and amending certain Acts and statutory instruments

"We have just heard from my colleague, who spoke about the importance of this for indigenous people. The member for Winnipeg Centre highlighted the systemic racism that exists within the RCMP, the unbelievable measures and the extent to which they brought a heavy hand to addressing indigenous protests. It was shocking to see the images in British Columbia of what was being done at that time and how indigenous people were dealt with, all because they wanted to exercise their right to protect their land.

In “Behind the Thin Blue Line”, an APTN investigation, APTN provided this:

“You do one more thing and I’ll dose you, bitch,” a Mountie allegedly told independent media producer Kristy Grear, according to court files. “There was no name tag or badge number displayed on the officer’s uniform,” the documents claim. “However I did observe a so-called ‘thin-blue line’ patch on the officer’s uniform.” 

This is how the Mounties of the Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG), a secretive industry defence arm of the B.C. RCMP arrive to dismantle blockades: armed with guns and mace, name tags ripped off, faces hidden, thin blue line patches emblazoned on their chests. 

Police arrive with howling dogs, helicopters, drones, chainsaws, axes, an excavator, jackhammers, angle grinders and fancier gadgets like thermal imaging cameras. 

This is what is happening and it is shocking. It should be shocking to every single member of the House and to Canadians. How could it be that such measures are taken unchecked? However, that is the reality and that is why we need this bill."

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.

Are you ready to take action?

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