About the NAFC
Friendship Centres are Canada’s most significant off-reserve Aboriginal service delivery infrastructure.
The National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) is a network of 119 Friendship Centres from coast-to-coast-to-coast. The NAFC was established in 1972 to represent, nationally, the growing number of Friendship Centres emerging across Canada.
Friendship Centres are the primary providers of culturally-enhanced programs and services to urban Aboriginal residents. For over half-a-century, Friendship Centres have been facilitating the transition of Aboriginal people from rural, remote and reserve life to an urban environment. For many Aboriginal people, Friendship Centres are the first point of contact to obtain referrals to cultural based socio-economic programs and services.
As of 2011-2012, Friendship Centres across Canada delivered 1,439 programs to over 2.3 million participants on a status blind basis – that is, equally to status and non-status First Nations, Métis, Inuit and non-Aboriginal people. Furthermore, the entire Friendship Centre Movement, consisting of 119 Friendship Centres, will deliver $123,990,823 million in programs and services to Canada’s rapidly increasing urban Aboriginal population.
Given that the urban Aboriginal population is the fastest growing segment of the Canadian Aboriginal population (54% in 2006) the value of Canada’s most significant network of Aboriginal service delivery providers will continue to grow.
Friendship Centres play a pivotal role in community and economic development by providing training and employment opportunities, facilitating social development, and building human and resource capacity.
The NAFC is a not-for-profit, non-governmental Aboriginal organization.