Indigenous Homelessness

Perspectives from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

Evelyn Peters (Editor), Julia Christensen (Editor)

Being homeless in one’s homeland is a colonial legacy for many Indigenous people in settler societies. The construction of Commonwealth nation-states from colonial settler societies depended on the dispossession of Indigenous peoples from their lands. The legacy of that dispossession and related attempts at assimilation that disrupted Indigenous practices, languages, and cultures—including patterns of housing and land use—can be seen today in the disproportionate number of Indigenous people affected by homelessness in both rural and urban settings.

Essays in this collection explore the meaning and scope of Indigenous homelessness in the Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. They argue that effective policy and support programs aimed at relieving Indigenous homelessness must be rooted in Indigenous conceptions of home, land, and kinship, and cannot ignore the context of systemic inequality, institutionalization, landlessness, among other things, that stem from a history of colonialism.

Indigenous Homelessness: Perspectives from Canada, New Zealand and Australia provides a comprehensive exploration of the Indigenous experience of homelessness. It testifies to ongoing cultural resilience and lays the groundwork for practices and policies designed to better address the conditions that lead to homelessness among Indigenous peoples.


Indigenous Homelessness is a timely, important work which considers in detail a diverse range of Indigenous perspectives, illustrative of the scale and scope of contemporary Indigenous homelessness in order to address the prevailing “apathy and even passive acceptance” that currently surrounds this phenomenon.”

Anna Kemball, University of Edinburgh, Transmotion

“When authors discuss the concept of ‘home/journeying’ or the notion of a ‘place to stand’ or the concept of ‘rootlessness’, and the significance of the manaakitange, they are not only showing that they are ‘acquainted with the literature on the subject’ but more importantly that they are acquainted with and respectful of the ways of Indigenous Peoples.”

– Robert Robson, Professor, Department of Indigenous Learning, Lakehead University

About the Authors

Evelyn Peters is an urban social geographer whose research has focused on First Nations and Métis people in cities. She taught in the University of Winnipeg’s Department of Urban and Inner-City Studies, where she held a Canada Research Chair in Inner-City Issues, Community Learning, and Engagement.

Julia Christensen is a social, cultural and health geographer, and works primarily with northern Indigenous communities in Canada and Greenland.

Other contributors: Paul Andrew, Tim Aubry, Yale Belanger, Cynthia Bird, Christina Birdsall-Jones, Marleny M. Bonnycastle, Deidre Brown, Rebe cca Cherner, Julia Christensen, Patricia Franks, Susan Farrell, Joshua Freistadt, Charmaine Green, Kelly Greenop, Shiloh Groot, Darrin Hodgetts, Selena Kern, Pita Richard Wiremu King, Fran Klodawsky, Gabrielle Lindstrom, Paul Memmott, Daphne Nash, Julie Parrell, Evelyn Peters, Sarah Prout, Mohi Rua, Rebecca Schiff, Annette Siddle, Maureen Simpkins, Barbara A. Smith, Wilfreda E. Thurston, Alina Turner, David Turner, Jeanette Waegemakers Schiff, Tiniwai Chas Te Whetu, Rob Willetts.

Book Details

  • Indigenous Homelessness: Perspectives from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand
  • Evelyn Peters (Editor), Julia Christensen (Editor)
  • Published October 2016, 408 pages
  • Paper, ISBN: 978-0-88755-826-9, 6 × 9, $34.95
  • Topic(s): Decolonization, Indigenous Studies, Public Policy

Purchase Online

Related Titles