AMC Responds to Announcement of the National Indigenous Housing Strategy
February 21, 2023
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) releases the following statement in response to the Federal Government giving the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) a budget of $300 million to create a strategy for improving the quality, supply, and affordability of housing for Indigenous peoples in Canada.
“The Federal Government and CMHC should be partnering with First Nations in Manitoba on the housing crisis, as it remains a high-priority issue for First Nations,” said Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “We are continuously excluded from the discussions and planning for these strategies, and we haven’t seen any progress in eliminating housing shortages and overcrowding for decades. In fact, it has only worsened over the generations.”
The CMHC has begun the first phase of its strategy in partnership with the National Urban, Rural, and Northern Indigenous Housing Coalition (NURNIHC). NURNIHC claims to represent First Nations peoples across Turtle Island, yet they have not communicated with or invited collaboration with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs regarding housing issues.
The rising rental rates continue to increase the cost of living for First Nations citizens, especially those in urban centres. This inflation has affected everyone, but projects such as this housing strategy mean there is an opportunity to assist those struggling to make ends meet. Furthermore, a statistic that continues to rise is First Nations youth who age out of care are more likely to become homeless and are at an increased risk of becoming victimized. There needs to be more focus on the currently funded programs by either level of government to counter this, and it needs to be a factor in any housing strategy development. This housing strategy must consider these issues.
“The First Nations population in Manitoba continues to grow while housing has remained stagnant and subpar,” said Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “First Nations have been saying for decades that we have a housing crisis, and we should have a seat at the table when it comes to an issue as significant as housing for First Nations on and off reserve.”
The AMC remains open to discussions with the Federal Government on Housing Strategy development and welcomes federal support in developing our own Regional Housing Strategy explicitly dedicated to Manitoba First Nations citizens living on and off reserves. We can no longer be excluded from strategy planning that takes government dollars while claiming to help our First Nations, and we do not need these strategies implemented onto us.
For more information, please contact:
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 151,000 First Nation citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) people.