Being indigenous under settler colonialism is being homeless: Evelyn J. Peters, Julia Christensen (eds), Indigenous Homelessness: Perspectives from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, University of Manitoba Press, 2016
Abstract: Being homeless in one’s homeland is a colonial legacy for many Indigenous people in settler societies. The construction of Commonwealth nation-states from colonial settler societies depended on the dispossession of Indigenous peoples from their lands. The legacy of that dispossession and related attempts at assimilation that disrupted Indigenous practices, languages, and cultures—including patterns of housing and land use—can be seen today in the disproportionate number of Indigenous people affected by homelessness in both rural and urban settings. Essays in this collection explore the meaning and scope of Indigenous homelessness in the Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. They argue that effective policy and support programs aimed at relieving Indigenous homelessness must be rooted in Indigenous conceptions of home, land, and kinship, and cannot ignore the context of systemic inequality, institutionalization, landlessness, among other things, that stem from a history of colonialism. “Indigenous Homelessness: Perspectives from Canada, New Zealand and Australia” provides a comprehensive exploration of the Indigenous experience of homelessness. It testifies to ongoing cultural resilience and lays the groundwork for practices and policies designed to better address the conditions that lead to homelessness among Indigenous peoples.
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