30 October 2018

In large Canadian cities, Indigenous homelessness represents a particularly high proportion of the total homeless population, ranging from 20% to 50% (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness). The work of Jesse Thistle, a 2016 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Scholar, is helping to address this growing social problem by exploring the effects of intergenerational trauma experienced by the Métis.

In its 2018 fall edition, The York University Magazine chronicles the work and personal journey of Jesse, a Métis and Cree doctoral student who lived on the streets for several years before using his talent and resourcefulness to climb the academic ladder.

Having worked on developing a more holistic definition of Indigenous homelessness, he explains in this article that homelessness is a much more complex problem than simply not having a roof over your head: “Indigenous homelessness, from an Indigenous perspective, implies a disconnection from all things: your land, your culture, your identity, your traditions, stories, customs and language.”

To learn more about Jesse Thistle and his work, read the article in The York University Magazine.

Jesse Thistle

Jesse Thistle (history, York University) is studying the lives of Metis people living on road allowances – makeshift communities built on Crown land along roads and railways on the Canadian Prairies in the 20th century.

2016 Scholars