Housing crisis on agenda at Iroquois Caucus meeting

By Marc Lalonde

 Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The lack of housing in Iroquois communities and, and looking for possible solutions to that crisis, was the main thrust of the recent two-day Iroquois Caucus meeting held last week in Ottawa, said one of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake Chiefs who attended.

“It was an important meeting,” said MCK Chief Iohahiio Delisle.

“It was pretty interesting to learn about some of the housing issues that our people are facing in their own respective communities and we had a lot of good discussions about possible solutions.”

On the agenda for the meeting was the new family-services law, Bill C-92, the federal government’s implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and a meeting with federal Crown-Indigenous Relations minister Marc Miller.

“It was pretty cool. It was really great to meet with Marc Miller,” Delisle said.

He added that the government’s implementation of UNDRIP has been stilted and the general consensus is there has not been much action, despite a spate of recent government investments in Indigenous health care and other areas.

“It’s a contradictory situation,” Delisle said. “On the one hand, the government is taking action, but on the ground in the First Nations communities, we aren’t seeing a lot of movement.”

Delisle, who was elected to council last fall in a by-election, said the meeting was part of a steep learning curve for him as a council chief.

“It’s a lot of take in, and a lot to learn, especially since I just came in in the fall, but it was a productive experience that will end up giving us some solutions for our own community and for other First Nations communities,” he said.

 Marc Lalonde/ Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/IORI:WASE

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