Reserve residences provide housing for Indigenous peoples residing on Canadian reserves. There are more than 630 reserve residences in Canada, and they are home to a significant number of First Nations residents. The reserve system was developed with the intent to help Aboriginal peoples transition to a new way of life that would include agriculture, Christianity and a sedentary lifestyle.
While these initial experiments may have been successful, the modern reserve system has grown and evolved into a complex socio-economic system that can often be extremely difficult to navigate. There are several issues that reserve residents face including social, economic and environmental hardships, as well as limited access to government-provided services.
Despite the challenges that reserves face, they are also vital communities where cultural survival is possible and where many Indigenous languages are still spoken. The reserve system is also a part of the nation’s heritage, and it’s important that Canada works to protect the legacy of this unique place for Indigenous peoples.
Socially, a majority of reserve communities struggle with poverty, unemployment and lack of housing. In addition, native homeless populations are high.
Financially, they face barriers to getting loans and credit. This is especially true when they are trying to build or renovate a house or apartment on reserve land. Fortunately, the federal government has introduced various programs that can help people living on reserves to access affordable mortgages or loans for their homes.
Income Assistance Programs
The Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) Income Assistance Program is one such program that is a vital support service for Indigenous communities. This program is available to families and individuals who live on a Canadian reserve or Aboriginal community, and offers funding to cover the basic expenses of living.
As a participant of this program, you will receive a one-time only financial benefit to assist with your housing expenses. This is a taxable benefit, and you must pay the taxes.
There are a variety of ways to apply for this program, and you will be contacted when it is time to submit your application. You will be required to complete an application form and attach proof of your identity, address and employment information.
You will be able to submit your application through your UCO student account under Campus Services in MyHousing. The application opens on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s recommended that you apply as soon as it is available to ensure your space is secured.
In addition, we encourage you to apply for your preferred hall or Living Learning Community as early as possible. These housing applications open on different dates for different groups, so it’s important that you be prepared to apply when the time comes.
We are currently accepting applications for fall, 2019, and spring, 2020. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact the Greater Circle Living Program Manager, Mary Jo McBride, at [email protected] or by phone at 647-495-3575.
Whether you are moving to the area for an internship, study abroad or job training, our faculty and staff have a place for you at The Reserve. You will find a variety of floor plans and amenities to suit your lifestyle.