Indigenous Caucus: Member voices

22 Sep 2022

Kimberley Brown, Director, CHRA Indigenous Caucus


This summer, CHRA’s Indigenous Caucus Director, Kimberley Brown, embarked on a member survey to gauge four areas of the Indigenous Caucus membership. Based on the medicine wheel teachings, this survey focused on four areas of membership: individual, family, community, nation.

A sincere thank you to those who offered their time and feedback – we are always striving to enhance your membership and will endeavour to include your feedback in a meaningful way.



This section focused on individual membership questions

There is general satisfaction regarding membership. An area of focus for improvement moving forward will be increased networking opportunities; creating more opportunities for members to share and learn will be a priority area.

Feedback from this quadrant includes:

  • The need to conduct a survey on what research would be helpful and impactful on Indigenous homelessness across the country.
  • A desire from Caucus members to advocate for changes to the National Housing Co-Investment Fund application to make it user-friendly.



This section focused on the Indigenous Caucus working group representation

The respondents had consensus that the working group should have 8-10 members; the respondents were unanimous in expressing their support for majority Indigenous representation.

Feedback from this quadrant includes:

  • Indigenous experiences are different depending on what part of the country you are in and whether there is municipal, provincial, and federal support and whether that support is translated into real tangible results.
  • The number of working group members going forward should depend on whether representation is by region, urban, rural, etc.



This section focused on member organization make-up

Through the survey, we discovered there is a mix of organizations: some focus on serving Indigenous peoples only, while some organizations offer mixed housing markets. Respondent organizations typically serve anywhere from 21 to over 200 units.

Feedback from this quadrant includes:

  • The need for a strong, loud, national push for Indigenous housing led by Indigenous people. Indigenous-led advocacy is necessary for transitional housing, communal, support - all sorts of housing options that are funded for capital costs and service costs.
  • The inclusion of off-reserve and non-status people in CHRA’s board and elsewhere in the organization is needed.



This section examined the role and priorities of external relationships and community building at a national level

This section had the most diverse and thoughtful feedback. Areas of focus include the need to create a higher profile and a stronger media presence, which may serve to raise our profile, build relationships with all levels of government, and boost local advocacy.

The need for research and training have also been identified as areas that will be targeted moving forward.

Feedback from this quadrant includes:

  • The Indigenous Caucus working group can be a good cross-section to include Indigenous housing providers by region and representatives from the friendship centre movement, women's associations, and other Indigenous urban-focused organizations.
  • The idea to hold regional Caucus meetings twice a year in addition to the Annual General Meeting and to ensure politicians from those regions are involved in some way.

Feedback from this survey will be incorporated into the work of the Indigenous Caucus Director, and CHRA. Qujannamiik!


Want to learn more about the Indigenous Caucus? Visit our webpage: