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February 1, 2024
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is calling on the provincial and federal governments to work with First Nations Leadership to overcome systemic inequities, prompted by the 2024 Canadian Rental Market Report’s oversight of the distinctive housing challenges faced by First Nations in Manitoba. While the report offers a comprehensive perspective on Canada’s rental landscape, it falls short of accurately portraying the specific circumstances faced by First Nations in Manitoba.
AMC Grand Chief Cathy Merrick emphasizes that barriers to housing pose a substantial obstacle to the health and well-being of First Nations families. “For an accurate picture of the housing crisis in Canada, the Canadian Rental Market Report must acknowledge the distinct challenges faced by First Nations in the province, especially those striving to secure safe and affordable housing. Housing is crucial for family reunification and prevention, a nuance not adequately addressed in the report’s general overview.”
Highlighting approximately 1,100 vacant Manitoba Housing units in Winnipeg alone, Grand Chief Merrick states, “The reported low vacancy rates underscore a critical situation for First Nations families in search of stability and a place to establish their homes.” The AMC asserts that this overlooked resource could alleviate pressures faced by First Nations, potentially reducing homelessness and instability, especially for those in the child welfare system and youth aging out of care.
Additionally, the increased rental costs outlined in the report worsen the problem, making adequate housing unattainable for numerous First Nations individuals. These rental expenses contribute to the continuation of poverty within First Nations, which forces many citizens to allocate a disproportionate amount of their income to housing, leaving little for other essential needs.
In light of these findings, the AMC urges a collaborative approach with all levels of government to develop inclusive solutions that address the realities of First Nations citizens and provide an accurate, holistic picture of the housing crisis in this region.
For more information, please contact:
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs