Published on: December 11, 2019
This statement is the result of a strategic meeting between leaders from Indigenous communities across Canada, urban Indigenous housing and homelessness service providers, and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Leilani Farha (the Rapporteur).
As the newly formed federal government opens parliament, on International Human Rights Day – this statement is shared in the sincere hope that urban Indigenous housing conditions and homelessness are prioritized in the federal government’s implementation of the National Housing Strategy, as a matter of human rights and consistent with the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Calls to action include:
1. As the tenth largest economy in the world, recognize that urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing and homelessness conditions are egregious and unacceptable and that these must be addressed on an urgent and priority basis, consistent with international human rights law;
2. Recognize the right to an adequately resourced National Urban and Rural Indigenous Housing Strategy developed and implemented by urban, rural and northern housing and service providers;
3. Recognize urban, rural and northern housing and service providers as expressions of Indigenous self-determination, as recognized by the Federal Court of Appeal in Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (Misquadis) and as per articles 4, 21 and 23 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
4. Create new legislation, mirroring the rights and accountability framework articulated in the NHSA, which recognizes culturally relevant housing as a human right for Indigenous people in urban, rural and northern areas; and,
5. Domesticate and implement the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples in Canadian law.