We recently sat down with Margaret Pfoh, who is Tsimshian from the Eagle Clan of the Gitga’at First Nation, to talk about her thoughts on Indigenous homelessness. Margaret joined the non-profit housing sector 25 years ago and has been the CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) for three years. She also sits on the Community Housing Transformation Centre board of directors. As we near the end of National Indigenous History Month, we wanted to share a few more of her observations with our readers in this edited transcript of our interview.
For Indigenous populations, the concept of homelessness is much broader than the simple lack of shelter—it encompasses the alienation inherent in three centuries of being uprooted from their cultures and communities.
The CMHC’s annual Northern Housing Report paints a bleak picture of the housing market in Canada’s northern territories, where a high percentage of residents lack suitable, adequate and affordable housing.