Investment into Shelters for Family Healing

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Honouring Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women - Photo by Tannis Smith.
Honouring Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women - Photo by Tannis Smith.

OTTAWA – “Providing a safe and secure space for Indigenous women and children who are victims of family violence on reserve is a priority.‎ These five new shelters will provide a space for families to heal and look forward to building a brighter future,” commented The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

Investing in the construction and ongoing operating costs of shelters for victims of domestic violence will make a significant difference in five First Nations communities across Canada.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs (INAC), today announced that the network of shelters for victims of family violence on reserve is about to expand.

“No one fleeing domestic violence should be left without a place to turn for help. In partnership with First Nations communities, our government is committed to helping women and children access safe and stable housing along with the support services they need to heal and rebuild their lives.,” says The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

“This announcement recognizes the urgency of addressing the chronic under-funding of family violence shelters for First Nations women. Too many First Nations women have to leave their communities and their families to get away from abusive situations. They need safe and secure spaces. Our communities need adequate housing and shelters. The demand for shelters is still high and we look forward to working with the federal government on how to help address this desperate need,” says Regional Chief Kevin Hart, Assembly of First Nations Manitoba, portfolio holder for Housing and Infrastructure.

Budget 2016 included $10.4 million over three years for the construction of five new shelters for women and children who are victims of family violence on reserve, delivered through CMHC. The following five communities have been identified for the construction of new shelters:

  • Lake Babine in British Columbia;
  • Black Lake in Saskatchewan;
  • Nisichawayasihk in Manitoba;
  • Wikwemikong in Ontario; and,
  • Kawawachikamach in Quebec.

CMHC will work with the selected proponents to help move their projects towards a final commitment, at which point projects can get underway.

Quick facts:

  • Investing in social infrastructure in Indigenous communities is a key pillar of the Government of Canada’s strategy to create inclusive growth.
  • To address urgent housing needs on reserve, Budget 2016 provided $554.3 million over two years beginning in 2016-17.
  • Of this amount, $416.6 million over two years was provided to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to address immediate housing needs on reserve. An additional $137.7 million over two years was provided to CMHC, most of which supports the renovation and retrofit of existing housing on reserve.
  • Budget 2016 also provided up to $33.6 million over five years, beginning in 2016–17, and up to $8.3 million in additional ongoing funding, to better support shelters serving victims of family violence in First Nations communities.

 

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