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Moving To The City? - Plan Ahead

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      SEPTEMBER 1971      v02 n07 p04  
The past ten years have seen a tremendous shift from the reserves to the cities. Many times families arrive ill prepared and unaware of the problems of living in a large urban centre.

Welfare consultants from the Regional Office of Indian Affairs, officials from the Regina office of Provincial Welfare and welfare administrators, 16 bands in the Touchwood, File Hills, Fort Qu'Appelle Region met in Fort Qu'Appelle Wednesday, August 18 to discuss the problems Indian families have when moving to the city.

D. Massing from Provincial Welfare expressed the concern that his department had not provided the best service for Indian people moving to the city.

R. Smith, also of the Provincial Welfare stated, "It may become a matter of policy not to accept families without adequate pre-planning."

Indian delegates reacted strongly to this statement stating that it was a basic right to change residence and that government officials had no right to meddle with this right.

Despite the differences of opinion, a few guidelines were set up.

1. If you live on the reserve and receive welfare and plan to move to the city, ask your band welfare administrator for advice and help in planning the move. Maybe moving to the city isn't the answer to your problem. If the administrator feels that it will be to your advantage to move, he can offer you assistance.

2. Although the welfare will pay your rent, it is up to you to locate a house. Finding good housing isn't easy. You will be well advised to leave your children with relations on the reserve while you locate a house.

3. It is the job of the Band welfare administrator to send a letter to the department of Provincial Welfare outlining your plan and stating whether he thinks your name is a good idea or not.

The lack of people to do family counselling on reserves adds to the problem. About ten families or more are moving into Regina each week. Twenty-five per cent have moved in before but the rest are newcomers.