Stark Truths: Indigenous Housing Realities & Solutions in Northern, Remote Communities

August 10, 2023

Stark Truths is an eye-opening exposé on the state of housing in the North, as told by Indigenous community members who face rampant human rights violations every day in their search for safe, secure, and affordable housing.


Over the last year, Janine Harvey and Lisa Alikamik, two Inuit right to housing advocates, travelled across the Northwest Territories and Nunavut to conduct culturally appropriate interviews with Indigenous community members, gathering their stories and first-hand experiences of what it’s like trying to find affordable, safe, and secure housing in the North.

We at the National Right to Housing Network, with funding from the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, were partners on this project. The resulting report centres the stories and proposed solutions brought forward by northern and remote Indigenous communities facing some of the most egregious human rights violations in Canada.

Our Report: Stark Truths

The powerful, heartbreaking, and stark truths told by northern and remote Indigenous communities throughout this report demonstrate the pervasive and ongoing impacts of systemic neglect and colonialism, while calling for urgent, culturally appropriate, and human rights-based government action and collaboration with these communities in the North. These stories also serve as an important submission to the Federal Housing Advocate as she works to address systemic right to housing issues across Canada.

A true human rights approach begins by listening to those most affected by issues of housing inadequacy and homelessness. This report presents an opportunity for the federal government, new Housing Minister, and civil society to hear directly from the peoples of the North who are facing human rights violations every day—and have been absent from our policy decisions for far too long.


It is a heavy weight to bear, seeing our people struggling and hurting. We see our people being mistreated… Everyone deserves to have a home. With effort and collaboration between networks with the same goal, and by creating programs that are culturally appropriate in the North, we can help our people to be sheltered and have a place to call home.”

– Janine Harvey and Lisa Alikamik


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