CHRA's Indigenous Housing Caucus was established in 2013 at CHRA’s annual Congress on Housing and Homelessness in recognition of the large number of Indigenous-led and Indigenous-serving organizations who are CHRA members and wanted to work together for better housing for northern, rural, and urban First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples. Indigenous housing and homelessness service providers across the country face a number of challenges to which the Indigenous Caucus is responding with resourcefulness, good management and innovation.
Since 2013, the Indigenous Caucus has grown both in size and influence, becoming a credible body for developing and providing Indigenous policy advice on housing and homelessness. The Indigenous Caucus meets together in person once a year at Indigenous Housing Caucus Day. Throughout the remainder of the year the interests, feedback, advice, and recommendations communicated on Caucus Day is represented and actioned by CHRA’s Indigenous Housing Caucus Working Group. The Working Group assembles via monthly conference calls to advise and provide Indigenous perspectives on emerging national housing and homelessness issues to CHRA, as well as provide advocacy support and propose research projects exploring various facets of Indigenous housing and homelessness issues.
Caucus Day takes place in conjunction with CHRA’s annual Congress on Housing and Homelessness. It is a full-day collaborative forum attended by over 150 delegates from across Canada, ranging from urban and regional non-profit Indigenous Housing corporations, local homelessness service providers and regional homelessness coordinators, representatives of all orders of government, and private sector actors in academia and business.
Caucus Day is a platform to network, share information, highlight Indigenous examples of effective housing management and sector innovation, and provide input and direction on CHRA's Indigenous initiatives and advocacy work. Caucus Day 2019 will be taking place in Victoria, B.C on 02 April 2019 (details to follow).
Past Indigenous Caucus Day summary reports:
The Indigenous Caucus is an invaluable resource which helps inform and support broader CHRA advocacy and research with respect to Indigenous housing issues.
In June 2018 CHRA and CHRA's Indigenous Housing Caucus Working Group released a "For Indigenous, By Indigenous National Housing Strategy" calling on the government to address the housing needs of urban, rural and northern Indigenous families and individuals, including the disproportionate representation of Indigenous Peoples living in homelessness and core housing.
The federal National Housing Strategy unveiled in November 2017 committed to working toward co-developing three distinctions-based First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation housing strategies. However, the Government of Canada's distinctions-based approach risks creating a large service gap for the 87 per cent of Indigenous Peoples not living on reserve lands, but in the urban, rural and northern parts of Canada. To eliminate the service gap, the paper asserts that the federal government must acknowledge and fund a fourth strategy for Indigenous households in need of housing in urban, rural and northern areas.
The "For Indigenous, By Indigenous" Strategy is the culmination of a two-year process involving the Indigenous Caucus. CHRA and the Indigenous Caucus' first iteration of a strategy to bring forward the housing needs of urban and rural Indigenous Peoples began at Indigenous Housing Caucus Day in 2016 and 2017. Following discussions and deliberations, CHRA used the input gathered from Caucus Day delegates to develop a series of recommendations for a distinct urban and rural Indigenous Housing Strategy. The Indigenous Caucus submitted the policy paper containing recommendations to the Government of Canada in June 2017, which was widely shared and distributed to politicians and senior decision makers.
Broader CHRA research can be found under the CHRA’s What we do / Research & Papers section. The following research projects, initiatives and reports related to Indigenous housing and intersecting issues were undertaken in 2017:
Modified: June 2018