Dene Nation calls for “off-reserve housing strategy”

Jr. McNeely, Norman Yakeleya, George MacKenzie, Grace Blake.

Dene Nation delegates had a clear message for Canadian officials and their fellow Indigenous leaders at the AFN Housing Meeting in Vancouver last week, “Our people don’t all live on reserves.”

Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya says Canada has to realize not all Indigenous people live on a reserve.

“I call it a real opportunity for Canada to address reconciliation. Housing helps address poverty, violence, financial stress, everything. Canada needs to get into the housing game, and bring real dollars to our Chiefs and councils. We dont need the GNWT and other levels of government to address housing, we want to do it, ourselves,” said Yakeleya after the AFN event in BC.

Sahtu Grand Chief Jr. McNeely, Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya, Tlicho Grand Chief George Mackenzie and former Gwichya Gwich’in Chief Grace Blake at @AFN_Updates Housing Conference. #CKLB

— Josh Campbell (@Splash_Campbell) November 3, 2018

“We only have two reserves up here, out of 28 communities that we serve. So we need housing programs that will provide real dollars for all Dene,” added Yakeleya.

Yakeleya was joined by YKDFN Councillor Lena Black, former Tsiigehtchic Chief Grace Blake, Tlicho Grand Chief George MacKenzie and Sahtu Grand Chief Junior McNeely.

About the Author

Josh Campbell
Splash is back as the host of Denendeh Sunrise, CKLB's morning current affairs program. Campbell was mentored by longtime host and Gwich'in entertainer William Greenland. Josh, as he's known professionally by folks across the broadcast industry has worked for CBC North, CKRW the Rush in Yukon, and at CJCD Mix 100. Before moving north for his love of radio and Indigenous culture in 2007, Campbell graduated from Loyalist College's Broadcast Journalism Program in Belleville, Ontario the traditional territory of the Tyendinaga Mohawks. Campbell is proud of his Scottish and Irish ancestry. He was born and raised along the Tobique River the home of the Wolastoqiyik, Tobique Maliseet Nation.

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