Members of the Poverty Task Force’s Community Voices and Housing Action Group partners participated in a Giiwe Circle with author Jessie Thistle. Jessie presented his work on the development of a Indigenous Definition of Homelessness with The Homeless Hub. Jessie also shared his personal story, his new book From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way. and joined us in our Giiwe Circle. Jessie Thistle – who has traveled all across Canada – commented that Giiwe was a unique project and its Circles a unique experience that he had not seen in any other communities across Canada.
Giiwe is an exciting Indigenous led, inter-agency collaboration brought to us by the staff at M’Wikwedong Indigenous Friendship Centre. The project aims at reducing off-reserve Indigenous homelessness. Giiwe is centred on fostering a coordinated housing-related response to Indigenous specific housing needs and preferences in Grey Bruce.
Giiwe has successfully established and sustained an Indigenous led, inter-agency collaboration with 11 organizations while strengthening relationships and promoting trust between Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners. It has also facilitated a referral process and established inter-agency agreements to better serve Indigenous peoples living off-reserve. A recent Evaluation Report highlights the work being done.
Giiwe Circles incorporate cultural safety training, collaborative case management and relationship building to increase Indigenous leadership with improved collaboration and understanding of Indigenous practices, which ultimately lead to the prevention of Indigenous homelessness.