AMC Urges Canada to Collaborate with First Nations in Developing a Comprehensive Strategy to Address Homelessness

February 13, 2024

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba

AMC Communications

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) calls on the federal and provincial governments to work alongside First Nations Leadership to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the root causes of homelessness following a new report on tent encampments across Canada.

“Governments continue to adhere to an inherently racist and broken colonial system which fails to serve the best interests of First Nations people. A just solution to the housing crisis cannot be found within the very system that created and continues to perpetuate these issues,” said AMC Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “This disparity underscores the interconnectedness of housing and health within the First Nations worldview, a perspective that is not adequately reflected in Canada’s systems and institutions.”

The 2022 Winnipeg Street Census revealed that fifty-one per cent of respondents identified as Status First Nations. Furthermore, the census highlighted that a common pathway into homelessness is through involvement with the child welfare system (CFS), with fifty per cent of individuals experiencing homelessness having previously been involved with CFS and becoming homeless within a year of leaving care.

Reports on homelessness consistently highlight the significant overrepresentation of First Nations. Grand Chief Merrick emphasizes that without the active involvement of First Nations in crafting preventive solutions tailored to their unique experiences, barriers, and realities, our citizens will persistently suffer the consequences of a flawed system, as evidenced by the ongoing statistics.

The AMC maintains that joint action from First Nations Leadership and the provincial and federal governments is vital to overcoming this crisis. “The complexity of these issues requires collaborative efforts with First Nations Leadership to pinpoint solutions driven by First Nations themselves, addressing an issue that our people did not create, yet are disproportionately affected by,” 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.