Minister Responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation (NWTHC) Alfred Moses and Northwest Territories (NWT) Indigenous leaders met in Inuvik recently to discuss the housing issues facing NWT Indigenous people.
The result of the meeting was a greater understanding of the common ground shared by NWT Indigenous governments around housing concerns and issues and strong recognition that providing housing for Indigenous people of the Northwest Territories has become a priority. All participants agreed that further collaboration would allow the GNWT and Indigenous governments to advocate for northern solutions for northern housing issues with one united voice.
The meeting demonstrated the need for innovation, cooperation and partnership between NWT Indigenous governments to take advantage of federal funding opportunities for Indigenous housing, but did highlight issues with certain funding programs. While participants welcomed the announcement of $1.5 billion in nation-wide, long-term funding in Budget 2018 as an important step in addressing disproportionate housing needs in Indigenous communities, they are concerned that the federal government’s distinctions-based approach means that little of that funding will reach NWT First Nations and Metis people.
NWT Indigenous leaders were unanimous in the meeting that they stand united in their desire to be recognized as different from the south. Leaders are clear that southern-based models often do not work in the North and that access to all federal funding must allow for equality and fairness between all Indigenous groups across Canada. Indigenous leaders and the GNWT are calling on the federal government to meet with them to plan a path forward that reflects the existing and emerging complex Indigenous governance arrangements in the Northwest Territories and the significant cost to deliver housing infrastructure in the North.
“This meeting of many of our Indigenous leaders, the strong words spoken, and the unanimous agreement, send a message to the federal government that GNWT and Indigenous governments are united in calling for the NWT Indigenous governments to receive its fair share of Indigenous Housing Strategy funding.”
-Alfred Moses, Minister Responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation and Homelessness
- The Indigenous Leaders’ meeting on housing was hosted by Minister Moses on Tuesday, April 23 during the Northern Housing Summit in Inuvik on April 23-24, 2019. The Northern Housing Summit is a conference that presented opportunities for investment and partnership for communities. Some of the topics covered during the Summit include: funding partnerships, Indigenous design, community housing plans, training future tradespersons, green energy solutions and housing for healthy communities.
- Leaders from the following Indigenous governments and organizations attended the Indigenous Leaders’ meeting on housing: Aklavik Community Corporation, Community Government of Behchokǫ̀, Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government, Fort Providence Métis Council, Fort Simpson Métis Nation, West Point First Nation, Northwest Territory Métis Nation, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Gwich’in Tribal Council, K'atl'odeeche First Nation, Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated, Tłı̨chǫ Government, Community Government of Wekweètı̀, Community Government of Whatı̀, North Slave Métis Alliance.
- The Northern Housing Summit is the first of its kind, bringing together Indigenous and community leaders from most NWT communities and the first territorial housing conference in nearly 10 years.
Strategic Planning, Policy and Communications
Northwest Territories Housing Corporation
Phone: (867) 767-9328 ex. 85023
Fax: (867) 873-9426