In Canada, a reserve residence is a home that is owned by the government but is occupied and managed by a First Nations band or community. This is not to be confused with a house that is owned by individuals and that may be rented out.

The lack of adequate on-reserve housing is a longstanding issue for many bands. A high birth rate, insufficient funding and the construction of homes that are poorly suited to the climate often contribute to problems such as overcrowding, poor health, mould and limited infrastructure. These conditions create obstacles to education, employment and overall well-being for Indigenous peoples living on reserves.

Although the reasons for the challenges faced by many reserves are complex, it is widely accepted that colonial policies and legislation such as the Indian Act caused significant cultural genocide and disrupted communities. These policies, along with residential schools, created enduring hardships and hindered the re-establishment of strong social networks and stable communities.

Since the 1970s, the federal government has tried to address the problems with on-reserve housing through various initiatives including formula-based support, proposal-based projects and efforts to work around limitations on land and property acquisition imposed by the Indian Act. These programs have had some short-term successes but do not always result in broad and sustainable improvements to housing on reserves. This evaluation examines the design and impact of these programs. It also considers the broader implications of a more holistic approach to housing. reserve residences

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