Wahkotowin and Reaching Home Project

DATE: March 2023
An Update to Conklin’s Homelessness Estimation Report

In 2022, the CRDAC submitted a proposal to Rural Development Network (RDN) to conduct a Housing and Service Needs Estimation in Conklin to better understand what housing and services needs are in our community. We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded the grant funding and will be partnering with RDN on this exciting Wahkotowin and Reaching Home Project!

This project intends to build on the deep engagement initiated with the community in 2017 (see, Housing Crisis), while also building on the research completed in How Much Longer and Homelessness Estimation Report with a new and critical purpose to update this research while additionally understanding the community’s wahkotowin and to incorporate that understanding into future plans to effectively combat homelessness in Conklin.

Through the course of the research, the CRDAC came to recognize that homelessness in Conklin was not like homelessness in other non-Indigenous communities. Specifically, the work of Métis scholar, Jesse Thistle, has resonated with the community, particularly when explained that:

In many Indigenous cultures, the concept of “home” differs from Canadian settler understandings. The holistic Indigenous concept of home is understood as circles of interconnectedness and together form the heart of healthy Indigenous social and spiritual emplacement. These are known in Nehiyaw (Cree) and Michif (Métis) as miyo wahkotowin.

Jesse Thistle, Indigenous Definition of Homelessness in Canada (Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Press), 14-15.

With recent pandemic and changes in the global economy, financial situations of many families have changed over the course of the last few years. Such data and any changes are crucial to ensure that our housing initiative remains a fruitful endeavour and that impactfully addresses the existing need, directly supports people experiencing homelessness, housing affordability issues, and those who are at imminent risk.