THUNDER BAY – “How can words justify what we are trying to do. Our people shouldn’t be on the street homeless. Our children are hungry and thirsty, let us feed them. We can all do this together to give back as a nation and fight homelessness and poverty. We have an obligation,” states NAN Deputy Grand Chief Walter Naveau.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) and The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to pursue joint initiatives to reduce poverty and homelessness while improving health outcomes for vulnerable members of society.
The partners will work together to address priority areas to ensure adequate housing for all families and individuals and will explore and pursue joint initiatives that will result in the reduction of poverty and homelessness while improving health outcomes for the homeless and impoverished.
“This is a significant step for the Thunder Bay area, and I commend The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board for its leadership and dedication to creating a more welcoming and inclusive community. This MOU compliments our agreements with municipal partners to the east and west and will provide a voice for many who find themselves on the street. When we put our differences aside and see one another as human beings we can walk together with a sense of hope,” adds Deputy Grand Chief Walter Naveau.
“As the proposed MOU with NAN seeks to address poverty and homelessness, it will begin an important partnership to gather more insight on reasons for migratory and transient homelessness, and the child welfare system’s impact on poverty and homelessness, especially in regards to the Indigenous population. We anticipate learning about the reasons why people leave First Nations for urban centres and how they can be better supported in a culturally appropriate manner,” comments Bill Bradica, Chief Administrative Officer, The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board.
“The aims and commitments of the Memorandum of Understanding with NAN are in alignment with TBDSSAB’s strategic planning visions of enhancing community partnerships and recognizing client diversity. As well, we are aiming to improve communication with clients and partner groups and strengthen and deepen our relationships with other organizations,” says Lucy Kloosterhuis, Board Chair, The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board
This is the third MOU between NAN and municipal partners to jointly develop approaches to address poverty and homelessness in northern Ontario. MOUs were signed in June with the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board and the Kenora District Services Board.