Decolonizing Home: A re-conceptualization of First Nations' housing in Canada

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dc.contributor.author Monk, Lindsay
dc.date.accessioned 2013-04-24T18:08:05Z
dc.date.available 2013-04-24T18:08:05Z
dc.date.copyright 2013 en_US
dc.date.issued 2013-04-24
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/4541
dc.description.abstract While it is generally agreed that First Nations in Canada are facing a housing crisis in their communities, the Canadian public has largely misunderstood what the crisis of housing is, thus frustrating efforts to improve the situation. A re-conceptualization of the problem of on-reserve housing as a crisis of governance with roots in processes of colonialism (both historical and ongoing) offers the possibility of addressing the crisis and moving forward. This research seeks to situate housing as an important site of engagement for First Nations and settler society (as important in decolonization efforts as it was in colonization) and points to the importance of relationships both within Indigenous communities and with settler society in restoring governance and improving housing. Housing has been a contested site throughout the history of First Nations-settler relations, with colonial policies focusing on reshaping how First Nations lived. These policies have been consistently resisted by First Nations. This history of struggle provides the crucial context for understanding how and why housing has reached an impasse. This impasse is illustrated by examining federal housing policy, which appears to offer increased community control over housing but does so without addressing underlying governance and capacity issues. First Nations are becoming increasingly responsible for on-reserve housing without corresponding supports or redress for the history of colonialism that has created the crisis. Current approaches to solving housing problems on-reserve are then critically assessed, focusing on policy and legislative moves toward homeownership and privatization on-reserve. I argue that this approach circumscribes self-determination for First Nations in particular ways, reducing these claims to a set of market based options. Finally, several innovative community housing initiatives are examined, moving beyond the debate to privatize. Priorities identified are consistent across the examples: housing is at the service of the community, is affordable, builds local capacity, is self-sustaining, is culturally and environmentally appropriate, and the locus of authority remains in the community. The initiatives were achieved by cultivating relationships, both within First Nation communities and with settler society. In this thesis, I suggest the importance of housing for decolonization efforts for First Nation and settler alike. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Indigenous en_US
dc.subject housing en_US
dc.subject federal policy en_US
dc.subject colonialism en_US
dc.subject on-reserve en_US
dc.subject decolonization en_US
dc.title Decolonizing Home: A re-conceptualization of First Nations' housing in Canada en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Shaw, Karena
dc.degree.department School of Environmental Studies en_US
dc.degree.level Master of Arts M.A. en_US
dc.rights.temp Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US
dc.description.proquestcode 0334 en_US
dc.description.proquestcode 0740 en_US

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