Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Our home, our way of life’: the meaning and context of northern homelessness and housing (in)security


Published on

NAHO Speaker series, March 1, 2012

Julia Christensen, PhD

SSHRC Post-Doctoral Research Fellow University of British Columbia

Research Associate Institute for Circumpolar Health Research

  • Be the first to comment

Our home, our way of life’: the meaning and context of northern homelessness and housing (in)security

  1. 1. ‘ Our home, our way of life’: the meaning and context of northern homelessness and housing (in)security <ul><li>Julia Christensen, PhD </li></ul><ul><li>SSHRC Post-Doctoral Research Fellow University of British Columbia </li></ul><ul><li>Research Associate Institute for Circumpolar Health Research </li></ul>
  2. 2. PhD thesis research <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Homeless in a homeland: housing (in)security and homelessness in Inuvik and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2007-2011 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 4. Pop. 3,430 Pop. 18, 510
  4. 5. <ul><li>Context-dependent </li></ul><ul><li>Frames our understanding of what homelessness is and how it occurs </li></ul><ul><li>Housing vs. home </li></ul>Housing (in)security
  5. 6. <ul><li>Factors contributing to housing insecurity in the NWT </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>Home/land (Turpel 1991) </li></ul><ul><li>Family as ‘social fabric’ (Brant Castellano 2002; Menzies 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Cohesion of community (Stairs and Wenzel 1992) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Home’ is multidimensional (Hulse and Saugeres 2008) </li></ul>Meaning of ‘home’
  7. 8. <ul><li>Factors contributing to housing security in the NWT </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Northern housing insecurity = absence of ‘home’ </li></ul>“ When the government took our land, bush camps and traplines away, they took away our homes. That was our home, that was our way of life.” - Sarah, Aboriginal support provider, Inuvik
  9. 10. Mona’s story Mona’s story Mona’s story
  10. 11. “ My family at [in my home community], they’re doing good now. They want me to move back and stay with them and get better. But if I leave [Yellowknife], I leave my kids. I can’t do that. My kids are everything to me.” - Mona
  11. 12. David’s story David’s story David’s story
  12. 13. “ I have no idea [what ‘home’ means]. I really have never had a home, never felt at home. So it is a weird thing for me to talk about.” - David
  13. 14. <ul><li>Fractured family and community </li></ul><ul><li>“ At home when I’m on the land” </li></ul><ul><li>Legacy of intergenerational trauma </li></ul>“ There has been so much change”
  14. 15. Collective and individual experiences of ‘homelessness’ <ul><li>Distinction between ‘rootlessness’ and ‘rooflessness’ (Somerville 1992) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Spiritual homelessness” (Memmott and Chambers 2008) - relevant to the northern Indigenous context </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Place’ and ‘belonging’ integral to health (Thornton 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Early rootlessness, loss of wayfinding results in key vulnerabilities to homelessness - distinctively tied to family and community </li></ul>
  15. 16. Northern housing and social policy landscape <ul><li>Core housing need </li></ul><ul><li>Uneven geography of key institutional services </li></ul><ul><li>Housing policy and families </li></ul><ul><li>Child welfare </li></ul><ul><li>Correctional system </li></ul><ul><li>Patchwork of mental health and addictions treatment options </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>Homelessness pathways can be read differently </li></ul><ul><li>Policy conflicts with “home/searching” (Tucker 1994) or </li></ul><ul><li>“ home/journeying” (Mallett 2004) </li></ul>Northern housing and social policy landscape
  17. 18. <ul><li>Family and community supports </li></ul><ul><li>Role of housing in family, community, and mental health </li></ul><ul><li>Supportive housing </li></ul><ul><li>Trauma-related treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Moving forward as a community </li></ul>The journey home
  18. 19. Mahsi Cho! - Quyanainni! - Thank You! - Merci! <ul><li>To all research collaborators, the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO), </li></ul><ul><li>and to: </li></ul><ul><li>Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) </li></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>Brant Castellano, M. 2002. Aboriginal family trends: Extended families, nuclear families, families of the heart. Toronto, ON: Vanier Institute of the Family. </li></ul><ul><li>Hulse, K., and L. Saugeres. 2008. Housing insecurity and precarious living: an Australian exploration. Melbourne, Australia: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute. </li></ul><ul><li>Mallett, S. 2004. Understanding home: a critical review of the literature. The sociological review 52 (1): 62-89. </li></ul><ul><li>Memmott, P., and C. Chambers. 2008. Homelessness amongst Aboriginal people in inner Sydney. Retrieved online March 10, 2011 at: RC2007.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Menzies, P. 2009. Homeless Aboriginal Men: Effects of Intergenerational Trauma. In Finding Home: Policy Options for Addressing Homelessness in Canada, eds. J. D. Hulchanski, P. Campsie, S. Chau, S. Hwang, and E. Paradis. Toronto: Cities Centre, University of Toronto. Retrieved online August 18, 2011 at: </li></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>Somerville, P. 1992. Homelessness and the meaning of home: Rooflessness or rootlessness? International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 16 (4): 529-539. </li></ul><ul><li>Stairs, A., and G. Wenzel. 1992. I am I and the environment: Inuit hunting, community, and identity. Journal of Indigenous Studies 3 (1): 1-12. </li></ul><ul><li>Thorton, T. 2008. Being and place among the Tlingit. Seattle, Washington: University of Washington Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Tucker, A. 1994. ‘In Search of Home’, Journal of Applied Philosophy, 11 (2): 181–187. </li></ul><ul><li>Turpel, M. E. 1991. Home/land. Canadian Journal of Family Law 10: 17. </li></ul>