National Association of Friendship Centres Announces Funding of the Partners for Engagement and Knowledge Exchange (NAFC-PEKE)
April 4, 2014 Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has approved the NAFC-PEKE proposal, as a part of the Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples Signature Initiative. The Partners for Engagement and Knowledge Exchange (PEKE) at the NAFC will be focused on urban Aboriginal peoples’ health for the next five years. The goal of the PEKE is to enable meaningful engagement of Aboriginal peoples’, communities and organizations by providing links and facilitating interactions among Implementation Research Teams (IRTs) and the Research Chairs with Aboriginal communities, policy makers and partners.
The over 40-year history of the Friendship Centre Movement ensures that the NAFC is well positioned to foster meaningful engagement and facilitation of interactions with urban Aboriginal peoples within the Pathway for Health Equity Initiative. The network of PTAs and Friendship Centres will be central to enacting meaningful change regarding the four exemplars of the Pathways Initiative in partnership with the Implementation teams and Research Chairs. The NAFC-PEKE will facilitate research interventions across communities and work with communities to translate findings into policies for improved health concerning the urban Aboriginal communities it represents. To do so the NAFC-PEKE will take the lead in coordinating i) partnership development; ii) knowledge mobilization and implementation activities; and, iii) national governance, in addition to strengthening the Indigenous research methodologies approach, which will be used throughout the Pathways Initiative.
Jeff Cyr, NAFC Executive Director, states, “The CIHR funding represents a commitment to understanding the health of our urban Aboriginal communities better. Recent statistics tell us that nearly 60% of Aboriginal peoples live in urban settings but much less is understood about the specific health needs of urban Aboriginal communities. The Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network has provided the NAFC with the expertise to facilitate the NAFC-PEKE and ensure that the voices of urban Aboriginal peoples and communities are central in this health research.”
The NAFC is democratically governed, status blind and is accountable to the federal government and directly to the urban Aboriginal community. Friendship Centres are Canada’s most significant off-reserve Aboriginal service delivery infrastructure. Established in 1972, the NAFC is a network of 119 Friendship Centres from coast-to-coast-to-coast.
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