No Home in a Homeland

Indigenous Peoples and Homelessness in the Canadian North

Julia Christensen

  • Published: 2017. Paperback September 2017
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies; History / Canadian History
  • Bibliographic information: 304 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

The Dene, a traditionally nomadic people, have no word for homelessness, a rare condition in the Canadian North prior to the 1990s. Julia Christensen documents the rise of Indigenous homelessness and proposes solutions by interweaving analysis of the region's unique history with personal narratives of homeless men and women in two cities - Yellowknife and Inuvik. What emerges is a larger story of displacement and intergenerational trauma, hope and renewal. Understanding what it means to be homeless in the North and how Indigenous people think about home and homemaking is the first step, Christensen argues, on the path to decolonizing existing approaches and practices.
Julia Christensen is assistant professor of geography and planning at Roskilde University in Denmark and a research fellow at the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research in Yellowknife, NWT.

"This original, highly sensitive book offers long-overdue coverage of the complex and distressingly persistent condition of homelessness in the North, a phenomenon that should be of critical concern to all Canadians."
-Gail Fondahl, professor of geography, University of Northern British Columbia

"This is the best and most comprehensive discussion of northern homelessness I have ever read . . . No Home in a Homeland brings real meaning to the importance of understanding the causes of homeless and the effect they have on people's lives."
-Thomas S. Carter, professor of geography, University of Winnipeg, and president of Carter Research Associates


1. "Homelessness" Is an Outside Word: Understanding Indigenous Homelessness
2. Before Contact My Ancestors Travelled Constantly: Mapping Uneven Geographies of Settlement, Development, and Opportunity
3. Never Felt at Home: Pathways to Homelessness
4. It's So Easy to Burn Your Bridges around Here: The Policy Landscape of Housing and Employment
5. They Want a Different Life: Rural-Urban Movements and Home Seeking
6. Our Home, Our Way of Life: Home, Homeland, and Spiritual Homelessness