Sat. Sep 30th, 2023

Across Canada, many First Nations peoples are moving away from their reserves. The reasons vary, but often boil down to poor quality of life. Inadequate housing, high levels of unemployment and a lack of economic opportunities are among them. But these conditions are particularly difficult on reserve, where many families live in houses that are dilapidated, overcrowded and plagued by mould.

This is a national crisis. Nationwide, only about three-quarters of on-reserve homes are deemed adequate by the community, and overcrowding is widespread. Despite improvements, this is one of the most significant and persistent challenges facing Canada’s Aboriginal peoples.

In the 1960s, what was then Indian and Northern Affairs Canada introduced a subsidy program for residential construction on reserves. This was renamed the On-Reserve Housing Policy in 1996 and is still the policy that governs housing support on reserves today. Communities that opt into the On-Reserve Housing Policy can access Ministerial Loan Guarantees to secure loans from financial institutions to build, buy or renovate their houses on reserve lands. They can also apply to receive shelter allowance through the basic needs component of the income assistance program for costs associated with living on reserve.

Some bands have created urban reserves, which are reserves within or adjacent to a large city. This can provide easier access to jobs and services, but the difficulties of living on reserve persist. For example, when it comes to education and earnings, on-reserve North American Indians earn significantly less than their counterparts in the general population. reserve residences

By Admin

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