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 pic.twitter.com/qJNww7AAZd
— 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.