'Very concerning': FSIN Chief calls out remarks on homelessness made by city councillor

FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron is calling out a Regina city councillor over her line of questioning about homelessness. Ward 7 Councillor Terina Shaw recently asked whether some people choose to be homeless, a question that Chief Cameron said perpetuates racist and uneducated views.

Shaw asked whether some choose to be without a home during a council discussion on solving homelessness.

“I heard this one by an Indigenous person. She talked about people with an Indigenous culture that don’t want to have homes,” she said during the meeting. “Can you address that and speak to that for me please because until I heard that from her, I had no idea that there were people like that who existed.”

The social agency to which the question was directed seemed to agree with the premise.

“You know, some may choose to not have a home per say. They’re more comfortable in living with different people from moving around so I can see that that happens,” said Sheila Wignes-Paton of the Phoenix Residential Society.

The organization went on to suggest that this does not apply to the majority of the homeless.

The exchange was very upsetting to the FSIN and its chief, Bobby Cameron.

“So that comment obviously was disrespectful, it was not one that’s accurate at all. I mean, who wants to be homeless? A pretty serious comment she made and very concerning,” he said.

The Chief suggested those involved need a better education on the underlying causes of homelessness.

“You know the intergenerational trauma and other after effects of residential school has contributed a great deal to the addiction, the mental health issues,” he said.

Councillor Shaw could not be reached for comment. The FSIN said it would like to sit down with her to provide an Indigenous perspective on the issue of homelessness.