~ For Immediate Release ~
April 12, 2022
The Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre is pleased to publish this by-Indigenous-for-Indigenous report aimed at shining a light on the unique housing needs of urban Indigenous people living in the communities that our organization serves in Smithers, Telkwa, Houston and surrounding areas.
The Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society is an organization guided by Aboriginal values that provides activities, services and information to all people. It focuses on developing skills and strengths while incorporating spiritual, emotional, mental and physical well-being to help people become self-sufficient and self-reliant. The Friendship Centre is dedicated to promoting awareness among all people.
This study was conducted by our organization in late 2021 and early 2022 and has allowed our organization to fill an important information gap regarding local Indigenous experiences of housing and homelessness. This housing study creates a deeper understanding of the critical need for more affordable housing investment and highlights the importance of Indigenous led approaches to Indigenous housing and supports.
In total, we heard from 202 people who shared a range of lived experiences and perspectives on housing and homelessness through our survey and group circles. Our study revealed the following eight key themes: Lack of affordable and available housing, displacement, discrimination and racism, poor rental conditions, homelessness, colonial trauma, and the need for culturally safe Indigenous-led housing and supports.
As this document draws upon sensitive Indigenous knowledge, the information contained within this document must be honored. Therefore, the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre specifically requests that third parties do not utilize or reproduce this information without our organization’s permission to ensure integrity of the intent of this Indigenous-led project.
Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society Executive Director, Annette Morgan states: “I want to acknowledge the work and efforts that have gone into producing this study. Specifically, the housing team at Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre and well as our project partners. I also want to thank all of the community members who took the time to share their housing stories and knowledge with us and this speaks to the strength and resilience of the urban Indigenous people in this area.”
The Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre also wishes to acknowledge that this knowledge building project was funded through the Homeless Community Action Grant program in partnership with Plan54 Consulting and the Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC).
Annette Morgan, Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 250-847-5211