Giiwe Project is an inter-agency collaboration led by M’Wikwedong Indigenous Friendship Centre to reduce off-reserve Indigenous homelessness. Giiwe Circles brings together 20 organizations to strengthen relationships, promote culturally safe practices and trust. It incorporates cultural safety training, collaborative case management and relationship building to increase Indigenous leadership within the homelessness sector. This has led to improved collaboration and understanding of Indigenous practices, and a reduction in Indigenous homelessness.
The role of Indigenous community voices in Giiwe Circles counters the tendency for housing service providers in leadership positions to dominate agendas, discussion, and ultimately, decisions. The grounded expertise of these individuals adds strength and resiliency to poverty-reduction work. Their first-hand knowledge of systemic barriers is invaluable in co-creating innovative solutions to overcome them. Such diverse involvement can also help to identify the issues simmering below the surface, that impede positive change.