"In October 2019, United Nations special rapporteur Leilani Farha released her report on the right to adequate housing for Indigenous peoples. The report found housing conditions for Indigenous peoples around the world to be 'overwhelmingly abhorrent' and often in violation of 'the right to adequate housing, depriving them of their right to live in security and dignity'. For a Canadian perspective on this issue, the Journal spoke with Metis-Cree writer and academic Jesse Thistle, an assistant professor at York University". "Indigenous homelessness as I've [Thistle] defined it through community consultation, is really about a displacement of healthy relationships over time through colonial interruption. What that means is, we've lost connection to land and land-based teachings". "Then there's a disconnection of spirit that's happened as well. Indigenous worldviews, through the Christian conditioning of our youth -- which was an altruistic effort, [but] what that did is, it took children out of their kinship networks and raised them in an environment where they lost their sense of an Indigenous worldview and connection to the Creator". In answer to a question about a role for the church in helping to mend these issues, Thistle replied: "Just use the influence of the church and some of its resources to help. And when I say that, I mean in consultation with Indigenous people. Communities know what they need; you have to facilitate them to do the work. That's important. Because the other way, the paternalistic way, didn't work very well".
"Thistle's memoir 'From the Ashes', is available through Simon and Schuster (simonandschuster.ca). His 'Definition of Indigenous Homelessness in Canada' can be found online at homelesshub.ca/IndigenousHomelessness".