Partnerships & Initiatives
Helping Us Meet Our Mission
The NAFC believes that building strong and healthy relationships with our partners is the key to our continued success. This is why NAFC works in close collaboration with our partners so that together we can offer the best programs and services available to the Friendship Centre network now and well into the future.
Government Partners & Initiatives
The NAFC has received funding from the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) over the years for various projects focused on urban Aboriginal issues and matters.
The NAFC receives funding from the Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians (OFI) on a multi- year basis to support research and international activities. Most notable is the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network’s body of work. Some current and past successes include the 2011/2012 Research Paper Series, Fostering Biimaadiziwin: A National Research Conference on Urban Aboriginal Peoples (2011), a forthcoming compilation of selected Conference papers titled, Well-Being in the Urban Aboriginal Community (2012), and an edited volume titled Urban Aboriginal Communities in Canada: Complexities, Challenges, Opportunities (2011).
The Department of Canadian Heritage is the NAFC’s primary funder where approximately 26 million dollars (over 80% of NAFCs annual revenue) flow through the NAFC annually.
In 1996, the Department of Canadian Heritage transferred their administrative capacity with respect to the Aboriginal Friendship Centre Program (AFCP) to the NAFC. This act showcased how an Aboriginal organization has the capacity to enact a form of self-determination. For 15 years the NAFC has administered the AFCP and will continue to do so. The Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth (CCAY) and Young Canada Works for Aboriginal Urban Youth (YCW-AUY) are additional administrative priorities for the NAFC.
The NAFC has received funding from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to conduct research on the roles Friendship Centres can fulfill regarding Aboriginal human resources development. Further, NAFC has been supported by HRSDC to develop a literacy curriculum for use in Friendship Centres.
Health Canada, through the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy provided funding to the NAFC to deliver youth related tobacco cessation train-the-trainer sessions to the PTAs and to support regional youth tobacco cessation training efforts. This work builds on an earlier project funded by Health Canada which recognized the high rates of non-traditional tobacco use among urban Aboriginal youth and which resulted in the development of a tobacco cessation toolkit for youth and accompanying facilitator’s guide for Friendship Centre workers.
Health Canada, through the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative, also provided funding to the NAFC for a national diabetes needs assessment research project. Diabetes is a key public health concern for NAFC as Aboriginal peoples are three to five times more likely to experience Type 2 Diabetes than non-Aboriginal people. This project evaluates the capacity of diabetes prevention programs and services in relation to the prevalence /incidence of diabetes and needs of urban Aboriginal peoples. Please contact us to receive a copy of the report.
The NAFC has been supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) for various health related projects and research. The department also funds Aboriginal Head Start programs in Friendship Centres across the country. Head start programs provide early childhood related programming to Aboriginal children 0 to 6 years of age.
Statistics Canada is an invaluable partner to the NAFC. Our partnership has created such resources as the Informing Program and Service Needs of Aboriginal Populations through a Geographic Approach (or the Urban Aboriginal Demographic Research Project as listed on our website) and the 2011/2012 Research Paper series is using the Aboriginal People’s Survey (2006) data to analyze six key policy/research topics. The NAFC is also assisting Statistics Canada in advertizing the 2012 Aboriginal People’s Survey through communication support.
The Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network (UAKN) submitted a Partnership Grant Formal Application to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in 2011. The results of the application are expected to be released in April 2012. If successful, the Partnership Grant will greatly enhance the viability of the UAKN; this opportunity will create national and regional urban Aboriginal research opportunities across the country.
Since 2006, the NAFC have been engaged with the Commission for Public Complaints Against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) (CPC) to increase the awareness of the complaints process within the Friendship Centre Movement. CPC has attended every NAFC AGM since 2008, developed a pilot project training Friendship Centre staff on the complaints process, and developed a DVD providing information on the complaints process. The NAFC will continue to work with CPC in sharing their message to the FCM as many Aboriginal people are not aware that there is a complaints process available to them.
Aboriginal Partners & Initiatives
The NAFC and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2006. The MOU is important as it acknowledges our respective roles in servicing Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
The NAFC has maintained a healthy relationship with the Métis National Council (MNC) since 1983. Friendship Centres continue to provide culturally based programs and services to Métis people living in Canada’s urban centres.
The NAFC and the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) have a strong working relationship on issues affecting Aboriginal women in Canada. The NAFC recognizes NWAC’s leadership in the area of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada in which we actively support and participate in their annual vigils.
The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) on their Public Health Agency of Canada funded project, Assessing the Stage of Community Readiness and Implementing HIV/AIDS Prevention Strategies in Aboriginal Communities. Aboriginal peoples in Canada are over-represented in HIV/AIDS statistics. CAAN developed this project to increase capacity and knowledge of wise practices on implementing culturally appropriate HIV/AIDS prevention interventions and to increase capacity of national Aboriginal organizations to carry out culturally appropriate prevention interventions within their communities. As a partner, the NAFC participates on the project Steering Committee and representatives of the Friendship Centre Movement will participate in CAAN’s community readiness training planned for 2012.
The NAFC has participated in various social determinants of health sessions hosted by the National Collaboration Centre of Aboriginal Health (NCCAH) to provide an urban Aboriginal perspective..
International Partners & Initiatives
The NAFC, and many of its Provincial/Territorial Associations (PTAs), attend the annual gathering of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues held at the United Nations in New York City, USA. The Permanent Forum is one of three United Nations bodies mandated to deal specifically with indigenous peoples' issues. The others are the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous Peoples. The Permanent Forum is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.
The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) was established under the United Nations Charter as the principal organization to coordinate economic, social, and related work of the 14 UN specialized agencies, functional commissions and five regional commissions. The Council also receives reports from 11 UN funds and programmes. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system.
On July 20, 2010 the NAFC received United Nations Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) special consultative status. The special consultative status allows the NAFC the opportunity to actively engage with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (ECOSOC) and its subsidiary bodies, as well with United Nations Secretariat, programmes, funds and agencies.
The NAFC and Elections Canada have worked together since 2006 to encourage the participation of urban Aboriginal peoples in Canada’s electoral process. The NAFC and Elections Canada in preparation of the May 2011 federal election, successfully executed a national Aboriginal voting campaign, highlighting the significance of urban Aboriginal youth in the voting process and the participation of Friendship Centres in the election process. Ongoing collaboration between Elections Canada and the NAFC will further strengthen the significance of urban Aboriginal voting in future federal elections.
In early 2011, the Canadian Association for the Advance of Women and Girls in Sports and Physical Activity (CAAWS) partnered with the NAFC to seek opportunities to collaborate with five Friendship Centres to develop and implement their On the Move programs for Aboriginal girls and young women in urban settings. Recognizing the many health problems associated with inactivity, the goal of the Aboriginal On the Move project is to increase after-school healthy living programming for Aboriginal girls and young women. After an application process, CAAWS and the NAFC selected five Friendship Centres from across Canada who have received funding from CAAWS to collaborate on the Aboriginal On the Move project.
The NAFC and Association of Canadian Studies (ACS) have collaborated on various topics and matters. The ACS has been instrumental in facilitating relations between the NAFC and the government of China. In 2011, the ACS facilitated two opportunities for the NAFC to engage with Chinese delegates, the first involved the NAFC hosting a delegation in Ottawa and the second involved a trip to China where the NAFC President and Executive Director made presentations at events.
The NAFC has participated at various international conferences hosted by the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC). The NAFC supported the ICPC’s role in raising awareness of crime prevention issues and the role that Friendship Centres fulfill to reduce and prevent crime in urban Aboriginal communities.
The National Urban Indian Coalition (NUIFC) is the USA counterpart to the NAFC. The NAFC has met with the NUIFC on various occasions discussing common issues.
The NAFC has supported and participated with Environics on various research projects focused on urban Aboriginal peoples of Canada. NAFC had an instrumental role in the development of the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study as a member of the Advisory Circle.