Social justice issue as it exists today.
Part 1: Describing the Social Justice Issue
In this first section of the project, you will present your social justice issue as it exists today. You should be focusing on the state of the issue in contemporary Canadian society. What is important for your audience to understand about the nature and the scope of the social justice issue? Be sure to address why the issue is important and whom it impacts. It is expected that you will present and contextualize at least five (5) different statistics.
Part 2: Historical Background
In this second section of the project, you will be explaining the historical background of the social justice issue you are studying. What are the roots of the issue in the context of Canadian history? How has Canada handled the issue in the past? Have laws been created or altered? Have politicians or citizens raised concerns about the issue in the past? In what ways is the issue connected to colonialism and the settlement patterns that have shaped our current Canadian society?
General Requirements for the Essay
Your research must include sources (journal articles, books, non-commercial websites, documentaries, personal testimonies, etc) written by experts and by the research population when appropriate.
**You should plan to produce a 1500-2000 word research essay (first section ~750-1000 words, second section 1000-1200 words.) Each additional member of the group increases the word count by ~500 words.
Requirements and Recommendations:
• ● Use at least 6 sources including no fewer than 3 academic articles/books. There can be
overlap with the sources you are using for other parts of the project.
• ● Integrating historical statistics will help draw powerful parallels between the past and the
present. Look for statistics from the past as you are researching.
• ● Correct citations are required (MLA or Chicago Style)
Para 1 – Introduction with thesis statement and direction you are going.
Para 2 – What is homelessness and how has it been defined?
Para 3 – What data exists about the current state of homelessness?
Para 4 – Data that isn’t collected on homelessness in Canada (i.e. hidden homelessness): https://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/help/collection#a3
Homelessness and the risk of becoming homeless continue to afflict an ever-increasing number of individuals across the nation. Research on homelessness has identified many of the issues, but more work needs to be done. The experience of homelessness continues to suffer from being understudied. The Assembly of First Nations (AFN), along with other organizations, have raised warning flags about the expansion of homelessness among certain demographic groups in Canada: indigenous people, women, youth and the LGBTQ community in particular.
Research has highlighted how discrimination, poverty, engagement with the justice system, unaffordable housing prices, criminal behaviour, and drug and alcohol addictions serve as contributing factors to this social justice issue. Besides, personal and individual experiences such as a family break-up, a history of physical or emotional abuse, and health issues also lead to increased homelessness rates. Research suggests that at least 235,000 people are homeless in a year across Canada. However, this number likely fails to include those who experience what is known as “hidden homelessness.” Homelesshub estimates that there are nights in Canada when another 50000 have no place to sleep. Yet, the government chooses to turn a blind eye to this issue and pretend it doesn’t exist, not unlike how it handles many ongoing problems in Indigenous communities. The Canadian government intentionally creates racial data gaps in research and statistics, claiming that the less one states and studies race and ethnicity, the less conflict and inequality uprises, mainly due to colonization and discrimination in Canada. Before we look at the justice issue and its consequences, it is vital to understand and acknowledge its historical context. The succession in assimilating, dispossessing, and marginalizing indigenous cultures and identities from their lands and families is a well thought and organized procedure carried out by the Canadian government by negotiating bad faith and forcing specific colonial projects for years. Those two procedures were carried out very carefully by representatives of the federal government that succeeded in associating specific lands to indigenous people calling them reserves, under the 1876 Indian Act, with the likelihood of their relocation if it contradicted any form’s interest of the government.
Homelessness describes an individual or family’s condition without a permanent home or the opportunity, means, and ability to own one in the near future. However, according to Jessie Thistle and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, there is no one definition of homelessness in Canada due to the different experiences and impacts of homelessness on diverse people. For example, indigenous homelessness is considered by researchers as an experience that requires a specific type of treatment and understanding. That is because indigenous homelessness is not seen as a housing problem through the indigenous lens, rather a form of disconnection and destruction of what they value most, their relationship to human networks, animals, spirits, lands, plants, and territories. This detachment is directly linked to the “dark architecture of the colonial divide-and-conquer [settler] mentality” that is based on linguicide, ethnic cleansing, and extinction of indigenous people (cite). This mentality is created by a public education system that fails to provide the truth behind the country’s history of mistreating indigenous people. The education system is not the only deficiency crafted by the government; continuous misrepresentations of colonial history, broken treaty promises, absence of supports to indigenous individuals in metropolitan settings, insufficient housing and tenures on and off reserves, and the state’s inability to convey necessary infrastructure, employment, and wellbeing to indigenous communities are all significant contributors to indigenous homelessness (cite ). This blame-based narrative that homeless people and primarily indigenous dug themselves into homelessness is utter nonsense. The Canadian government has always given the privilege of profit-making opportunities to Euro Canadian societies over the expense of indigenous people’s rights and freedoms. Social reports of indigenous communities about connections to their home and land are depicted as relationship, obligation, association and appreciation. Unlike the British colonial heritage characterized by notions such as “ownership, utility, expropriation, ‘the common good,’ resource extraction and profit.” Resolving this issue requires fair and rational negotiations between Indigenous people and the government’s various compartments in Canada. In addition to a deep-rooted understanding and acknowledgment of the indigenous expectations about “home” which allows governments, service providers, and indigenous people to provide adequate financial and cultural assistance for indigenous communities, especially those in calamities