December 4, 2020 -
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, ON – Yesterday MP Brad Vis welcomed Chief Ralph Leon Jr., the elected leader of the Sts’ailes First Nation, to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA).
“As a new Member of Parliament, I have appreciated Chief Leon’s candor when speaking about Reconciliation, his willingness to discuss difficult issues, and openness in sharing the creative ways he and his Council are working to meet the needs of the Sts’ailes people,” said MP Vis. “I knew my committee colleagues would benefit from hearing his testimony.”
“Only about half of our membership live in our community,” said Chief Leon. “We have a long waiting list for housing, but we have been pretty creative on micro-homes – one to two-bedroom homes – we’ve been building quite a few of those so our young people can utilize those homes, improve themselves, and build their families.”
December 3rd’s HUMA meeting was the fourth to be held as committee members continue their study on urban, rural, and northern Indigenous housing. Other witnesses included Susan McGee, CEO of Homeward Trust Edmonton and Marcel Lawson Swain, CEO, Lu’ma Native Housing Society, who shared similar stories of chronic underfunding for Indigenous housing needs.
Chief Leon is the second witness from Mission–Matsqui–Fraser Canyon to appear before the committee, following the testimony of Executive Director Carole Camille of the Lillooet Friendship Centre Society on November 19th, 2020.
Office of MP Vis