This Hansard has not been finalized - this is the "Blues" in Parliamentary speak, or unedited transcript in regular speak.

In the Legislative Assembly on February 9th, 2024. See this topic in context.

Member's Statement 60-20(1): Housing in Indigenous Communities
Members' Statements

February 9th, 2024

George Nerysoo

George Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I would like to reflect back on my childhood years before the Housing NWT started building public housing units in our communities. We were a strong and independent people, as were all the Indigenous communities within the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, I remember when I was four years old, my dad became sick and he was sent to Edmonton where he stayed for a few years and ever since he was confined to a wheelchair until his passing a few years ago. The responsibility of raising seven children fell upon my mother, and two of -- myself and two of my sisters were not of school age so we were home. And my Mom had to get three of my dad's dogs and we went across the river, she climbed a steep embankment and cut down some firewood and threw it down to us and we loaded it in the sleigh and went back home. And as we went home, she started cooking lunch for my other older siblings. And after lunch, we would get the same three dogs and go down to the river and get ice for water for the day's use of cooking and cleaning.

Mr. Speaker, this is just an example of how strong and independent we were as a people before Housing NWT came into our communities and stripped us of our independence.

Shortly thereafter, we moved into one of the new housing units where Housing NWT stated that our lives would become more easier. Today we are in a crisis with housing as is the rest of the NWT residents. Mind you, my sister still lives in and occupies one of the units that we moved into 50 years ago. With a few Band-Aid solutions, many of the homes within my community and my riding are in poor conditions. These units are an eyesore to the visitors who come to visit our beloved community.

Mr. Speaker, the Indigenous people of the Northwest Territories need their strength and independence returned to them. Only the Indigenous people of the NWT know their specific needs. Mr. Speaker, I request unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Yes, Housing NWT staff who sits in their office in Yellowknife and the regional centres do not know the real conditions of these 50-year-old units. Mr. Speaker, it's time to give this responsibility back to the communities and have our own people correct the mistakes that the Housing NWT has imposed on the Indigenous peoples of my community, my riding, and my Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 60-20(1): Housing in Indigenous Communities
Members' Statements

The Speaker

The Speaker Shane Thompson

Thank you, Member from Mackenzie Delta. Members' statements. Member from Range Lake.