Housing identified as top priority for aboriginal community

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By Natalie Paddon

Housing and mobility are the top priority for Hamilton’s aboriginal community, identified at a meeting hosted by the Hamilton Executive Directors’ Aboriginal Coalition on Monday night.

But HEDAC will work to address all four of its strategic priorities — which include food security, child welfare and young adults, as well as justice and advocacy — moving forward.

“Each of these areas intersects with one another,” social planner Cindy Sue Montana McCormack told about 30 people gathered at the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre.

If a person doesn’t have a home, there are barriers to finding work, she said.

The same goes for children who do not have access to proper nutrition and might struggle to get to school or concentrate while they’re there.

The identified needs came out of strategic planning undertaken by HEDAC — a not-for-profit serving as a formal network of aboriginal service providers and organizations — that began back in late 2014, said interim president Shari St. Peter.

Some of HEDAC’s 10 member organizations include the Métis Women’s Circle, Sacajawea Non-Profit Housing and Urban Native Homes Inc.

Monday’s meeting allowed the community to help HEDAC narrow its 2015-18 strategic plan and decide what action to take over the short, medium and long terms.

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Article source: Hamilton Spectator

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