Published on: February 13, 2020

Montreal, Canada
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Nakuset was tired of waiting. So, when the Indigenous activist noticed a spike in deaths among Montreal’s homeless population, many of them from the Inuit communities in northern Quebec, she rang the alarm and alerted city authorities.

Then she collected the money and resources she needed to build Resilience Montreal, a downtown day centre that offers food, shelter as well as mental health and medical support to the homeless.

“People had nothing to eat and they had nowhere to sleep,” Nakuset, who uses only one name, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, referring to the closure of a former shelter.

The new centre was named ‘Resilience’ “because we’re honouring the fact that you have been on the streets…and you’ve survived,” she added.

Research shows that Indigenous people, who make up about five per cent of the country’s population, are disproportionately represented among Canada’s homeless.

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