Indigenous populations in Canada represent the fastest growing demographic, and they experience disproportionate levels of poverty in urban and rural spaces. The history of colonialism included a systematic exploitation of Indigenous communities which led to the impoverishment and forceful removal of traditional ways of living, and this legacy remains today. Assimilative policies of the Canadian government, such as the Indian Act and the residential school system, have resulted in deep, institutional racism that keeps many Indigenous peoples in poverty.
Reconciliation is a key component of poverty reduction. “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada reminds us that we are all treaty people, and therefore have a duty to actively participate in reconciliation. This includes all policy areas enacted by our government.” (Dignity for All, 2018). This section explores the experiences of Indigenous persons living in poverty, the strengths and resiliency of Indigenous communities, and culturally based solutions.