This strategy is part of our commitment to adopt and put in place policies and practices based on UNDRIP.
BC Housing has been operating on the unceded traditional territories and ancestral homelands of hundreds of Indigenous Peoples and Nations across the province. For more than fifty years, BC Housing has developed, managed and administered housing options for BC residents.
As a funder, employer, owner and operator of affordable housing programs, we are working with Indigenous housing partners to support growth in the Indigenous housing sector. Our 2023/2026 Service Plan, mandates us to deepen Indigenous Partnerships to advance Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and implement the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA), and ensure housing and services are equitable, people-centered and accessible to all.
BC Housing acknowledges the over-representation of Indigenous Peoples within the homeless population. We recognize that colonization has jeopardized Indigenous Peoples' history and connection to these lands. We know we must break down the systemic and institutionalized racism within our organization. Together with Indigenous partners and communities, BC Housing is working to address critical housing needs, and ensure equitable access to safe and supportive housing for all.
Our Reconciliation Journey
At the board’s direction, we started work in 2019 on the Moving Forward Together (MFT) engagement. Conversations began with Indigenous communities, organizations, partners and Nations. This work paved the way for our next steps and have led to actionable plans, priorities, and strategies.
Since the release of the MFT report in 2021, BC Housing put the following recommendations in place:
- Established the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (OEDIB)
- Dedicated resources to lead reconciliation and equity work
- Began a commission-wide equity assessment
- Required Indigenous awareness as a baseline education for BC Housing employees
- Initiated internal infrastructure to support Indigenous employees, communities, and partners
From 2022 to present BC Housing began developing the second phase of our reconciliation work, based on the following:
- 2020 - Moving Forward Together Report (MFT) engagements
- 2022 - Indigenous Design Guidelines engagements
- On-going conversations with Indigenous communities, organizations, First Nations and Métis partners
- On-going conversations with BC Housing employees across several teams
BC Housing’s Reconciliation Strategy sets our direction. It shows how we can enhance our organization by building capacity, policies, systems, and programs. The strategy incorporates principles of equity and reconciliation as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNRIP).
We are committed to a distinction-based approach. A distinction-based approach means that our work respects and acknowledges the unique cultures, histories, rights, laws, and governments of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. To this end, we will work in a manner that acknowledges the specific rights, interests, priorities and concerns of Indigenous groups.
Our Reconciliation Strategy focuses on addressing oppressive legacies of colonialism and its present-day impacts on Indigenous Peoples. Meaningful relationships will be at the centre of our work and include a commitment to nurturing Indigenous cultures, diversity, protocols, needs and experiences as we move forward together. Reconciliation needs us all. Our shared strength and humanity can help us cultivate a path forward.
We are leaning in, from the Moving Forward Together (MFT) engagements to on-going reconciliation conversations, we are keeping the reconciliation dialogue going with partners and Indigenous communities.
We can't do it alone. In the spirit of co-creation and relationship growth, we need you to join us. Rightsholders, Indigenous partners, community members, stakeholders -- Share your expertise and experience. Tell us how we can put in place strategies, plans and actions that support reconciliation.
More Resources and Information
Moving Forward Together Report
The MFT report lays out the work ahead. The report outlines how BC Housing, with input and support from Indigenous partners, will move forward. We are creating a path to move towards a multi-faceted reconciliation strategy.
Partner Bulletin: Update - BC Housing’s Reconciliation Strategy
This bulletin honours our commitment to share our progress and path to reconciliation, and identifies key efforts in alignment with the MFT report themes.
Reconciliation Strategy Engagement
BC Housing is hosting reconciliation strategy engagement sessions with Indigenous Peoples, organizations, partners, and communities. More information is available on Let’s Talk – BC Housing’s Reconciliation Strategy.