Learning Objectives

In this chapter, you are invited to learn about the different meanings and experiences of homelessness within Indigenous communities, and the deep roots of colonialism upon which they have been built. While tracing these roots and their modern-day implications, you are encouraged to reflect upon three key questions guiding this chapter’s learning objectives.


  1. We begin with definitions in much the same way as the ‚ÄúIntroduction‚ÄĚ chapter by asking, ‚ÄúIs Indigenous homelessness defined differently than settler homelessness?‚ÄĚ In this section you will read about work that has been done by Indigenous scholars to create an Indigenous definition of homelessness. You are encouraged to reflect upon the ways in which it differs from the broader Canadian definition, and on the rich history of knowledge that it provides.


  1. Following the review of the Indigenous definition, our attention turns to historical issues that created ‚Äď and continue to create ‚Äď displacement from the land and home for Indigenous peoples. We explore the question, ‚ÄúHow are the causes of Indigenous homelessness rooted in on-going colonizing practices?‚ÄĚ As you work through this section you are encouraged to think very deeply about the discriminatory and ignorant choices that were made in the past, through the laws that were passed, the policies that were enacted, and the government actions (and inactions) that have failed Canada‚Äôs Indigenous peoples.


  1. In the final section our focus shifts to future actions we can take as a nation, through a meaningful exploration of the question, ‚ÄúHow can we begin to decolonize society and decrease Indigenous homelessness?‚ÄĚ This section provides an opportunity for us to reflect upon the past, learn difficult lessons, and take that knowledge forward to improve the future.


As you move through this chapter it is beneficial to keep in mind that homelessness has different meanings and root causes for Indigenous communities. This chapter provides an opportunity to learn new ideas about the meaning of home and the damage that is caused when it is taken away. Read on to learn more about Indigenous homelessness in Canada.


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Understanding Homelessness in Canada Copyright © 2022 by Kristy Buccieri, James Davy, Cyndi Gilmer, and Nicole Whitmore is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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