Name: Stella August

Occupation: Community Activist

Stella is an Aboriginal woman with limited mobility living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.  She enjoys the community of the DTES, and thinks of it as her home and her village.  She was taken from her grandparents at a young age and placed in foster care.  She ran away when she was quite young.  She is frustrated by the lack of emphasis on housing and quality services by the government, and by the ignorance of many Canadians towards Aboriginal community needs.  She feels that community strength comes from working together, and that that’s what we need to do to make a difference.

We support addressing the issues of marginalized groups as part of a comprehensive poverty reduction plan. Aboriginal people are significantly more likely to live in poverty than non-Aboriginals, and continue to be over-represented among the urban homeless. We need to acknowledge and tackle these problems.

“We want to show the people in our community that we have the ability to stand up.  As long as we work together, we are powerful.  It’s really important that we stick together.  I have hopes that we can stop the suffering because of this poverty.”