Episode 6

Culturally Based Programs and Healing: A Panel on Indigenous Homelessness Prevention

How can we address Indigenous homelessness/houselessness from a culturally-based lens and start to foster healing?


Cathy Fournier
Steve Teekens
Bernice Kamano
Janine Bramadat

Live Session on

June 26, 2024

Colonization in Canada continues to contribute to disproportionate rates of homelessness amongst First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities today. The harm caused by historical and ongoing trauma, oppression, racism and discrimination cannot be understated.

To honour National Indigenous History Month 2024, our 6th Prevention Matters! session will focus on Indigenous homelessness/houselessness, exploring how Indigenous led and culturally based programming and healing are connected to prevention.

The impacts of colonialism on Indigenous housing are vast, complex and ongoing. Recognizing this, our conversation will seek to highlight some steps to be taken in the sector that can build reconciliation using an Indigenous strengths-based rather than a deficit-based approach. We will focus on the work that is being done so far and how this can expand as a starting point toward progress in the homelessness sector.

Join us and our brilliant guests to learn about the impacts of colonialism on homelessness/houselessness, and what it takes to address Indigenous homelessness/houselessness from a culturally-based lens.

This will be the last session before our summer hiatus, so you don’t want to miss it!


CATHY FOURNIER has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies (Medical/Social Anthropology and Indigenous Studies) from Dalhousie University and is currently the Senior Researcher, Indigenous Homelessness at the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. Cathy has mixed settler and Indigenous ancestry and is active in the urban Indigenous community in Toronto.

Cathy is also an Oshkaabewis (ceremonial helper/apprentice) at the Native Women’s Resource Centre in Toronto.


STEVE TEEKENS is the Executive Director at Na-Me-Res (Native Men’s Residence) where he has worked since 2008. He has been working with the marginalized and homeless sector in Toronto since 1995. Steve is a member of Nipissing First Nation and has a master’s degree in public administration from Queen’s University.

Steve is very active in Toronto’s Indigenous Community where he volunteers at Toronto Aboriginal Social Services Council (TASSC), Aboriginal Legal Services Community Council Program. Steve also teaches traditional drumming and to the youth and men at various Native organizations inside and outside of Toronto.

Steve enjoys working and volunteering in the Indigenous Community and wishes to see people overcome their obstacles and find the resilience in themselves to succeed in life.

BERNICE KAMANO has lived and worked in the Victoria area for the past 30 years and is a member of the Da’naxda’xw First Nation Band from the Kwakwaka’waka Nation. For the past 12 years, Bernice has worked with the homeless First Nations community. She has worked with the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness and is currently the Indigenous Outreach Coordinator for the Portland Hotel Society. Bernice is honoured to do the work she does with the homeless First Nations community, supporting people with challenges, and helping to make a difference.

JANINE BRAMADAT has over a decade of experience working alongside children, youth, young adults, Indigenous and newcomer communities. She is currently the Manager of Prevention at End Homelessness Winnipeg, where she has worked since 2022, focusing on upstream initiatives to prevent homelessness. Janine collaborates with representatives from the justice, health, education, and child and family services systems, ensuring that the voices of lived-experts are amplified in policy and programming decisions. She holds an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Manitoba, and she is committed to continuous professional development, chairing committees focused on wellness and anti-racism and anti-colonial practices.