(File photo)

Aboriginal people make up one-third of Metro Vancouver’s homeless

Latest report points to impact of residential schools, racism, and child welfare policies

Despite making up only 2.5 per cent of Metro Vancouver’s population, 34 per cent of the region’s homeless people are Aboriginal.

The regional district unveiled the final data, which came from the 2017 homeless count, this week. That’s a three-per-cent increase from the last count in 2014, where 31 per cent of the area’s homeless were Aboriginal.

In total, 3,605 people were homeless in Metro Vancouver, with Aboriginal people making up 746 of them.

The report recommended altering the funding formula between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal programs to reflect the high proportion of homeless who are First Nations.

Vancouver far outstripped any other city in both the number and percentage of their homeless who were Aboriginal, with 448 people, or 60 per cent.

Surrey was the second highest, with 137, or 18 per cent of their homeless identifying as Aboriginal.

When attempting to dissect why a disproportionate amount of Aboriginal people find themselves on the streets, the report identified the lasting effects of residential schools, racial and cultural discrimination, the impact of migration between their home communities and Metro Vancouver, and the impact of child welfare and foster care policies.

The report also highlighted the high cost of housing as an stumbling block for Aboriginal people in particular, drawing on past research showing typically lower incomes for First Nations compared to other groups.

Recommendations included a much-requested comprehensive housing strategy, the reinstating of funding for new social housing, and Aboriginal-specific reconciliation support for those suffering from trauma from the impact of residential schools and racism.

Just Posted

Body located near Langley fire

A corpse was found near a mall off the Langley Bypass Friday morning.

Rainfall warning issued across Lower Mainland into the weekend

50 to 70 mm of rain expected to fall starting overnight Friday and into Sunday morning

EXCLUSIVE: Surrey collecting fees on more than 2,400 illegal suites, documents reveal

That works out to more than $1 million in fees collected annually

City names new tourism agency

Discover Langley City will replace the partnership with Tourism Langley.

Langley hockey fans asked to bring toys to next Giants home game

G-Men partnering with Operation Christmas Child in filling shoeboxes with toys and more.

VIDEO: Langley preps for ‘the big one’

The annual Great British Columbia Shakeout was observed around Langley.

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

5 to start your day

Sentencing in murder of Surrey teen expected, Maple Ridge mayor to step away from politics and more

Most Read