From the Australian context, the idea of spiritual homelessness, also known as “Koori homesickness”, was very profound for both Dr. Peters—she was the co-editor with me on that volume—and me. It was a concept we talked a lot about, as chapter contributors in that book.
It articulates the experiences of homelessness as needing to be situated within a colonial context, in the sense that dispossession, displacement and the role of intergenerational trauma, for example, really frame the social determinants of health that ultimately impact access to housing and the sustainability of housing. They also underline the need for indigenous-led and community-led housing strategies to address the very context-specific and culturally specific needs and wants that exist across indigenous communities.
As Mr. Johnston highlighted as well, when we're talking about indigenous housing, we're talking about diverse cultures and communities, not just in terms of rural versus urban, but also in the spectrum from Inuit to first nations to Métis. Within each of those groups, there are very different housing needs and priorities. We really had a lot to discuss on this, across the Canadian and Australian context in particular.
There's also a lot of innovative indigenous-led housing research that takes place in Australia and New Zealand. I would say this is something we also see in Canada. There's a need, however, for more housing researchers who are indigenous and who can have the kinds of conversations around indigenous housing priorities that are inaccessible for a settler scholar like me, which also allow for new forms of collaboration between university-based research and indigenous communities.