Addressing the Crisis of Aboriginal Homelessness
A significant number of aboriginal people have migrated from rural areas to cities across Canada since the 1970s. As a result, more than half of Canada’s aboriginal people now live in cities. While this migration is part of a countrywide trend, a disproportionate number of aboriginal urban dwellers are homeless. For example, as of 2013, aboriginals comprised close to one-sixth of Toronto’s homeless population.
Dr. Suzanne Stewart, Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Homelessness and Life Transitions, is analyzing the aboriginal homelessness crisis in cities, and is devising ways to address it.
Stewart is addressing aboriginal social problems using traditional aboriginal knowledge—the knowledge that indigenous communities have accumulated over generations. She is examining the roles aboriginal knowledge has played in supporting transitions from homelessness to successful work and school outcomes.
In addition, Stewart is focusing on the roles that social service programming and interventions play in risks for homelessness among youth and families. She is also looking into possible changes to aboriginal mental health and educational policy by aboriginal and Canadian governments.
Stewart’s research will improve understanding of aboriginal homelessness in Canadian cities, and could lead to practical solutions to address this problem.