NAFC Federal Budget 2012
March 30, 2012 Ottawa, ON – Yesterday the Government of Canada released its 2012 Budget and the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) is optimistic that it signals opportunities for engagement and attention to urban Aboriginal issues.
In the Budget, the Government of Canada announced the two year renewal of the Urban Aboriginal Strategy at $27M over the 2 years. In response, NAFC Executive Director Jeff Cyr stated, “The NAFC is always pleased when more resources are invested in the urban Aboriginal environment, what this tells us is that this government sees urban Aboriginal people as a priority issue area”. Mr. Cyr continued “We have some ongoing concerns regarding how the Urban Aboriginal Strategy is currently delivered, however, what we read in the budget language and in our discussions with federal officials is an openness and willingness to work with the NAFC and Friendship Centres to deliver these resources more effectively and be innovative in our approach”.
On Wednesday March 28, 2012 the Aboriginal Friendship Centre Program (AFCP) along with other programs administered by the NAFC were transferred to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and current funding levels were maintained. President Vera Pawis-Tabobondung stated, “We are happy with the transfer as we believe it signals a new relationship between the Government and the National Association”.
The NAFC is seeking a deep and collaborative relationship with the Federal Government on urban Aboriginal issues and brings 60 years of expertise in the urban environment and a strong national network of Friendship Centers and 7 Provincial and Territorial Associations to the table. Executive Director Cyr states, “I believe the government is open to working closely together on urban Aboriginal issues, also I am pleased to see that social financing and impact bonds are a part of the budget”. He continued, “Friendship Centres have long been innovators at the community level and we have Friendship Centres in BC, Quebec and Ontario already pursuing such projects, we look forward to continued work with the federal government on this approach.”
The NAFC is comprised of 119 Friendship Centres across Canada. In many cities and towns, Friendship Centres are the only providers of culturally-enhanced programs and services to urban Aboriginal peoples. For more than half-a-century, Friendship Centres have been facilitating the transition of Aboriginal peoples from rural, remote and reserve communities to urban environments. The NAFC is the most significant urban Aboriginal community level service provider network in Canada and the world.
For more information please contact:
NAFC Executive Director Jeffrey Cyr (613) 563-4844 ext. 318 or email email@example.com
NAFC Communications Officer Ryan Barberstock (613) 563-4844 ext. 335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org