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    There's A Crowdfunding Campaign To Build Homes In First Nations Communities

    "It is shameful that we are in one of the wealthiest countries in the world and yet we need your help."

    Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press

    The remains of a Canadian flag can be seen flying over a building in Attawapiskat, Ont. on November 29, 2011.

    A co-founder of Idle No More, the grassroots indigenous rights movement, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to build homes in First Nations communities.

    Sylvia McAdam told CBC News she decided to act after seeing how dire the housing situation was in Big River First Nation in Saskatchewan, where she was born and raised.

    "You don't realize what is in your own backyard until you go door-to-door and actually go visit the people in their own homes," McAdam said.

    The campaign is called One House, Many Nations. Organizers are looking to raise $15,000 to build a log cabin on a Saskatchewan First Nation, with more campaigns planned to build more homes later.

    Idle No More / Via

    The crowdfunding page on Indiegogo says neglect from the federal government has led to an affordable housing shortage across Canada, one that is "particularly affecting Indigenous women."

    The situation on reserves is even more dire, the page says, with budget cuts and funding caps contributing to worse than third-world conditions for many First Nations.

    "A healthy, productive and dignified home brings life and joy to families," reads the campaign page. "We are not waiting for the Federal government to fulfill Treaty terms and promises; Indigenous children and their parents need immediate housing repairs and houses."

    Sylvia McAdam is one of four women who launched Idle No More in 2012 in response to what they saw as federal legislation that weakened environmental protections and eroded indigenous rights.

    Spirit of the Land / Via

    From one small meeting in Saskatoon, the Idle No More movement quickly grew to encompass indigenous activism across Canada and in some parts of the United States. Housing in particular became a flashpoint when the Ontario First Nation of Attawapiskat declared a state of emergency due to the number of people who were living in overcrowded and temporary dwellings.

    McAdam said she realized the scope of the housing problem on her own First Nation when she ran for chief. She told CBC News she was "horrified to see the condition of many of the houses" and that even though she was not elected, she had still promised to at least contribute to some emergency housing repairs or some homes for some families.

    BuzzFeed Canada reached out to McAdam for comment.

    According to Statistics Canada, 45% of First Nations people living on reserve in 2006 lived in homes that needed "major repairs."

    "This is where we need you," the One House, Many Nations page says. "We are reaching out to the global community. It is shameful that we are in one of the wealthiest countries in the world and yet we need your help."

    Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

    Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

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