A portrait of homelessness in First Nations communities in Quebec

Par Chantal Cleary | déc. 14, 2015

In August 2015, the FNQLHSSC began a research project to create a portrait of homelessness in First Nations communities in Quebec[1] that took the migration phenomenon into consideration. This project is part of the Quebec government’s 2015-2020 Inter-ministerial Action Plan on Homelessness. The FNQLHSSC was immensely pleased to participate in the work of the focus group that led to the elaboration of the Action Plan. With its Social Development Sector taking the lead, the FNQLHSSC submitted a proposal to include in the Action Plan a specific action to create a portrait of homelessness in First Nations communities in Quebec.

Although several studies have examined First Nations homelessness in urban areas, little has been done to study this phenomenon within the context of the communities. Through this portrait, the FNQLHSSC wants to gain a better understanding of the scope of the phenomenon, the forms of homelessness that emerge, as well as the factors that could lead or maintain First Nations people in a situation of homelessness. With the data collected, the FNQLHSSC hopes to be able to contribute to reducing prejudice toward First Nations and take concrete actions to combat poverty, social exclusion, mental health and addiction problems, prosecution and housing shortages in the communities.

Finally, the project is led in collaboration with the communities as well as the organizations that offer services to at-risk or homeless First Nations, and is supported by a newly created committee of experts, who are recognized in their respective fields of homelessness, poverty, mental health and addiction. To create a representative portrait of the phenomenon, several respondents, including resource persons from First Nations communities, will be called on to participate in the information collection process. This project is made possible by a grant received by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS), and work will be ongoing until the final research paper is completed, by August 31, 2016. 


[1] This research does not target the Cree nation or the Inuit.