RT/SIS, FHQTC, and FSIN Respond to Regina Ward 7 Comments Regarding Indigenous Homelessness
Regina, June 24, 2022- On June 15, 2022, Regina Ward 7 Councillor Terina Shaw named the Regina Treaty Status Indian Services, Inc. as a source for her question regarding Indigenous homelessness in Regina. She stated that an Indigenous leader had told her there are Indigenous people who would always prefer to be homeless.
Erica Beaudin, Executive Director of RT/SIS, recalls having a conversation on November 11, 2021 where Councillor Shaw was a participant. At that time, many questions were asked regarding the issue of homelessness in Regina. Clarification is required on what was stated at that time. Beaudin states, “in this setting, I was being asked my opinion on the state of homelessness, and the different stages and supports a person requires to achieve a safe place to live. I stated that, ‘within the subculture of the population of homeless people, there are those who prefer not to have the responsibility of their own home. They could be called wanderers.’ I further stated that, ‘those would be in the very small minority and we must concentrate on providing access to homes and services for the rest who need them.’” Beaudin further commented, “Upon hearing how Councillor Shaw applied a conscious or subconscious bias to add in “Indigenous” it is most likely due to the statement coming from an Indigenous person.”
In an effort to clear up the misrepresentation, Beaudin offered to meet with Shaw. This was met with a response that her lawyer must be present and then Shaw cancelling the scheduled meeting. Beaudin, along with Indigenous elected leaders, felt these comments must be addressed immediately to protect the integrity and reputation of RT/SIS and could not wait for a time when it was convenient for Shaw. “With the lack of regard for what her comments may prompt, RT/SIS has no choice but to immediately respond. At risk is the confidence of the people we serve as well as our community and funding partners,” said Beaudin.
Beaudin is further concerned the erroneous statement was not confirmed by the media upon hearing. “Journalists and news outlets have the responsibility to go to the source of such a controversial comment to determine if it was indeed stated,” said Beaudin. “It is all of our responsibility to ensure in this day and age of reconciliation that we all do our part to assist in the reparations of colonization and this lack of communication with RT/SIS had the potential to do harm to the reputation of an Indigenous organization and its employees.”
RT/SIS Board Chair and File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (FHQTC) Tribal Chief Jeremy Fourhorns would like for the Ward 7 Councillor and the City of Regina to properly address the inaccuracy of the comments. “As our urban human services entity, RT/SIS delivers professional and stellar services to not only the Indigenous population but to all marginalized people who come through their doors for services. Comments like Councillor Shaw’s that are left unchecked put the relationship and the current FHQTC and City of Regina Protocol Agreement at risk. Trust must be re-established. We look forward to working with the City of Regina to address the unfortunate comments by Councillor Shaw and working on building upon our understanding and strengths.”
FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said, “The City of Regina has the responsibility to take ownership and disciplinary action on the misrepresentation of comments made by one of our Treaty Indian women who leads one of our organizations in the urban area. What Councillor Shaw said was racist and she heard what she wanted to hear. Erica Beaudin’s work has been tireless, and she advocates with a high-level skill for not only our Indigenous people but all people who need help, especially in the area of homelessness in the City of Regina. The comments made by Councillor Shaw must be addressed by Councillor Shaw and the City of Regina, or further action by our organization may be taken.”
RT/SIS is the only Indigenous owned and operated comprehensive service delivery agency in Regina. It is an entity of TFHQ Inc. which is owned by both the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (FHQTC) and the Touchwood Agency Tribal Council (TATC). Along with four urban members at large, it is governed by a Board of Directors with representation from FHQTC, TATC, Yorkton Tribal Council and South East Treaty Four Tribal Council. It also falls under the umbrella of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations as its urban service delivery agency representative.
For more information contact:
Erica Beaudin 306-522-7494
Cory Generoux 306-527-8424
Sam Campling 306-425-9860