As the third wave of COVID-19 emerges, Indigenous folks who find themselves unhoused are now being threatened with violence to clear encampments, with no promise of safe, permanent housing. Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction raised a teepee on March 27, 2010 as a space for healing, community and ceremony in Allen Gardens, a gathering place for many houseless Indigenous people in the city.
Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction
Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction (TIHR) emerged in April 2020 during the first wave of the COVID19 pandemic in response to a massive shutdown of frontline services and a lack of basic needs for Indigenous houseless folks in the city of Toronto. Over the past year, we have provided basic needs, access to critical health support & covid 19 testing, harm reduction supplies, sexual, reproductive health and prenatal support, traditional medicines, traditional food, expressive arts, and ceremony to some of our most vulnerable people. TIHRS aims to reduce the negative impacts of substance use and other stigmatized behaviours and experiences through culture and unconditional support. TIHR is an entirely queer and Two-Spirit Indigenous collective founded by Nanook Gordon, co led by Brianna Olson Pitawanakwat and Lua Mondor and supported by Dashmaawaan Bemadzinjin (They feed the people) and countless volunteers.