December 7, 2020

(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.)

The First Nations Leadership Council was deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Katherine McParland this past weekend and joins the community in mourning this tragic loss. Co-founder and Executive Director of A Way Home Kamloops and the Coalition to End Youth Homelessness, Katherine was a fierce advocate dedicated to seeing all youth provided with safe and sustainable housing.

As someone who had previously experienced youth homelessness, Katherine held a personal connection to this issue and dedicated much of her life and career to creating solutions to end youth homelessness. She spoke openly of the challenges she faced in her own early life through her experiences in the child welfare system and eventually into homelessness. After securing stable housing, Katherine went on to complete and undergraduate degree and eventually a master’s degree in social work. She used these experiences to propel herself forward as a powerful and ground-breaking advocate, bringing voice and attention to this issue.