Montreal's ombudswoman says the Indigenous people experiencing homelessness in the heart of the city are living a "humanitarian crisis."
Nadine Mailloux conducted a six-month investigation into the living conditions of homeless Indigenous people in the city's Milton Park district, following complaints by citizens about violence, drug trafficking and prostitution in the area.
She says the homeless who are living in the district, specifically Inuit, are suffering "intolerable human distress."
Mailloux issued a series of recommendations to the city, including to develop support programs for Inuit who arrive in Montreal and to offer more shelter options for that community.
Montreal’s most recent homeless count indicates that an Indigenous person living in the city is about 27 times more likely to be homeless compared to a non-Indigenous person.
Mailloux says that despite the city's promises to improve its relationship with Indigenous people, her investigation revealed what she called a flagrant lack of planning by the city on addressing homelessness.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on May 4, 2022.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
The Canadian Press