AMC Demands Accountability from ISC and CMHC for Broken Promises and Rights Violations

March 19, 2024

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba

AMC Communications

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Grand Chief Cathy Merrick is demanding accountability from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) after a report released by Auditor General Karen Hogan claims that the percentage of First Nations homes that need repair or replacement is essentially the same in 2022 as it was in 2015. The lack of progress and decisive apathy from ISC and CMHC to improve housing conditions for First Nations directly contravenes Parliament’s National Housing Strategy Act, which officially declared housing a human right in 2019.

Auditor General Hogan’s report echoes what First Nations Leadership across Turtle Island has long voiced – these systems are broken, ineffective, and egregiously underfunded. “Housing is inextricably tied to health and social outcomes,” said AMC Grand Chief Cathy Merrick, “Moreover, housing is a fundamental human right, and government entities must be held accountable for their deliberate and systemic infringement of this right.”

The CMHC has failed to ensure equitable access to the programs established under the National Housing Strategy for First Nations. While numerous initiatives were created, only a small fraction of funding opportunities have been allocated to a limited number of First Nations in Manitoba. Funding for First Nations has not kept pace with the cost of living and population growth, leaving many First Nations without the resources necessary to address their pressing housing needs.

“ISC and CMHC are the primary government bodies responsible for housing First Nations. Yet, despite recognizing this obligation, ISC continues to fall short of following through on its commitment to work with First Nations Leaders to develop appropriate, timely, and collaborative solutions with the free, prior, and informed consent of First Nations Leadership on the issue of housing,” continued Grand Chief Merrick.

In addition to its demand for accountability from ISC and CMHC, the AMC remains ready to collaborate on developing First Nations-led housing solutions to meet the needs of First Nations in the province. “First Nations cannot rely on the federal government to do the right thing, so we must take it upon ourselves to create solutions if we are to ever recover from continued government inaction,” concluded Grand Chief Merrick.

For more information, please contact:

Communications Team
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba, with a total of more than 172,000 First Nations citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anisininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) peoples.