50th Anniversary

50th Anniversary Banner

The National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) is very proud and honoured to be celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year! Our official anniversary date takes place on September 13-17, 1971 as this was the date that the newly established NAFC held their first Annual Meeting in Edmonton, Alberta.

Learn more about some of the activities and events that are happening this year:


In July 2021, the NAFC revealed our new brand, a new logo and a new website. The NAFC's new look aligns with the vision articulated in our 10-year Strategic Plan. Learn more about the symbolism behind our new brand by visiting the Our Logo page on our website. 


Annual General Meeting

Due to the Covid-19 global pandemic and BC floods, the Annual General Meeting will be a hybrid in-person and virtual event. 

 For our in-person event, the NAFC will be strictly following provincial and local public health guidelines and directives as well as site specific policies and procedures to ensure that the Annual Meeting event plan and venue complies with all COVID-19 prevention regulations.

50th Anniversary Kick-off Celebration


On September 15, 2021, the NAFC kicked-off our 50th Anniversary with a virtual celebration, which included live music and performances from across the country, as well as special messages from key supporters of the Friendship Centre Movement!

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Congratulatory Messages

The NAFC has received many congratulatory messages from individuals and organizations from across the country! 


Owen Charters, President & CEO of BGC Canada

Centre d'amitié autochtone de Trois-Rivières

Peter Dinsdale, YMCA Canada President and Chief Executive Officer;
Former NAFC Executive Director (2004-2011)

Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society 


Alberta Native Friendship Centre Association (ANFCA)


Vera Pawis Tabobondung, NAFC Senator and Former NAFC Board President


NAFC Senator Dominique (T8aminik) Rankin

 NAFC Senator Marjorie (Marge) White NAFC's VIce President Kelly Benning  Mary Deacon from Bell Let's Talk


 RoseAnne Archibald  from Assembly of First Nations


Former Prime Minister Paul Martin


MP Dan Vandal


Dr. Cindy Blackstock


 Aboriginal Financial Officers Association (AFOA)

 Winnipeg Indigenous Friendship Centre    


Seeking NAFC memorabilia

In preparation for our 50th Anniversary celebrations, we are reaching out to our members to see if you have any photos, stories, or memorabilia from the early years of the NAFC! We are hoping to showcase these items digitally (over the Member’s Portal and in a slideshow) as well as in a display case at the Annual Meeting. 

We are interested in looking at all items you may have, but some ideas of items what we are looking for include:

  • Photos from NAFC meetings, events, assemblies, etc.
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Stories from the “early days”
  • NAFC memorabilia
  • Reports of historical significance, including newsletters, annual reports, etc.

You are invited to either send us a photo of the item(s) or if you would like to physically lend us the item for us in our display case, we will ensure that they are carefully looked after and returned to you after the Annual Meeting.

If you have any questions or suggestions for the 50th Anniversary celebrations, please contact Mel Maracle at melmaracle@nafc.ca.

NAFC Time Capsule

The NAFC will be creating a virtual capsule to honour the history of the Friendship Centre Movement and mark our hopes for the future. We aim to have at least one item submitted from each Friendship Centre and PTA. As this will be a virtual exercise, we invite all Friendship Centres and Provincial and/or Territorial Associations to submit photographs of items or people that give us a snapshot of your FC or PTA in 2021.

Once you have chosen what you want to submit, please provide a short answer to these 3 questions, which will be incorporated into your entry.

  1. What has the last 50 years of the Friendship Centre Movement meant for urban Indigenous peoples?

  2. What have you submitted to the time capsule and why? What story do you want it to tell about your Friendship Centre or PTA?

  3. What is your vision for your Friendship Centre/PTA and the Friendship Centre Movement in 50 years?

Not sure what you want to send in? Some examples of ideas include a recent staff or event photo, a picture of a cultural item that helps guide your work, hand drawn artwork from children, or anything else that means something to your Friendship Centre!

Once the NAFC has received all submissions, we’ll work our magic to combine them into one online document to be shared at the next Annual General Meeting in 2022. After that, the NAFC staff will tuck it away for 10 years.

The deadline to submit your item is November 30, 2021 to submit. Please send your responses to Paige Kezima, Membership Officer, at pkezima@nafc.ca. Additionally, please send an image of your logo to accompany your entry. Paige will also have a booth at the 2021 Annual General Meeting where you can share your photos and answers.