The number of Aboriginal people in Canadian cities is rising, presenting opportunities for economic and cultural growth in urban Canada. There are many problems facing Aboriginal people as they establish themselves in cities. They are the most poorly housed social group in many cities. Individual and systemic racism persists in the housing sector, and Aboriginal people have specific housing needs and aspirations. This paper argues that planners in every sector and jurisdiction that have a role in housing programming should practice some basic principles of Aboriginal engagement when drafting new urban low-cost housing policy. Aboriginal people should be involved in every stage of program design, delivery, and evaluation. Proper engagement should occur to make mainstream programs more sensitive to the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal people and specific housing strategies should be facilitated for this group to take account of the legitimate Aboriginal desire for self-determination in urban programming.
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The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness is the largest national research institute devoted to homelessness in Canada. The COH is the curator of the Homeless Hub.Canadian Observatory on Homelessness