The Smithers community and elected officials gathered today (Monday) at the Dze L’kant Cultural Centre to demonstrate support and action towards prioritization of Indigenous Housing.
Residents gathered at the hall and heard from speakers from the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, BC Housing, the Dze L’Kant Friendship Society and elected officials.
The main topic of the event is that every Indigenous community needs to access and reclaim their inherent rights to housing.
According to a news release, this would include supporting members who live away from their home community.
Director of Client Strategic Relations with AHMA Cliff Grant said that the AHMA is there to start the political dialogue for Indigenous Housing.
“We know that Indigenous people across the province and Canada continue to experience trauma resulting from repression, marginalization in housing, we’ve all been affected by the growing need in our own communities,” he said.
Executive Director of the Dze L’ Kant Friendship Centre Annette Morgan said that different communication strategies need to be out there.
“When it comes to aboriginal housing, when we look at our people and people who need help, we just need to go slowly and we need to create that space for their voices to be heard and we need to ensure that we need to create space,” she said.
Morgan added that it is scary that her kids would not be able to afford a house at this moment.
Smithers Mayor-elect Gladys Atrill added that the Town wants to work with different organizations because housing is not something that they can do by themselves.
She added that she is looking forward to seeing the partnerships come forward.
AHMA will be hosting a similar event supporting Indigenous Housing in Prince George on Thursday (Oct 20).