This past year, we were faced with significant change. Change is not new to our Movement, we have been face-to-face with it many times over the past 50 years and as always we tackled it head on. We adapted, evolved and turned unforeseen
challenges into opportunities so we may better serve Friendship Centres and in turn, our communities.
When reflecting back on this past fiscal year, we have much to be proud of. Through the successful implementation of the new Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) we have expanded our potential reach for programs and services to
200,000 Aboriginal people and distributed project based funding to 149 organizations across Canada.
In addition, the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) has been working hard on the creation of some exciting new initiatives, one aimed at supporting our most vulnerable and the other at highlighting our people’s great successes. All our hard work has lead us to become a leader in the national urban Aboriginal landscape. By working together and in partnership with non-governmental organizations and the federal government, Friendship Centres have
become a proven and willing partner in adopting new goals and effective avenues for delivering successful and meaningful programs and services.
Friendship Centres remain the most cost efficient and program effective mechanism for reaching Canada’s urban Aboriginal people and our work continues to have a profound impact in countless lives. From April 2014 to March 2015, our
programs have assisted nearly 700,000 clients across Canada. It would be difficult to imagine urban life without our Centres.
We are a strong and united Movement and our successes are a result of our commitment to working together and learning from one another. We have stayed true to our mission and continue to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal people
in urban areas while leading the way in Aboriginal service program delivery.
I would like to thank and acknowledge all Friendship Centre Board of Directors, volunteers, Elders, youth and staff. Everything that took place in the last year could not have been achieved without their selfless dedication and vision.
I look forward to our continued collaboration as we move forward into yet again, a time of change and opportunity.
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President, National Association of Friendship Centres
The 2014-2015 year marks the 44th year of the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC). With 118 centres and seven Provincial and Territorial Associations (PTAs) from coast-to-coast-to-coast, our strength and unity continues
to propel us forward.
Friendship Centres have played a key role in assisting urban Aboriginal people throughout their lives. From our children that we care for as a community, to youth finding their identities and learning new skills, and to adults seeking
help finding employment, they can always find a helping hand at one of our centres.
The drivers of our environment are shifting, we see change in the demographic realities of those that we serve, established relationships require renewed attention, and new relationships must be forged. Internally, we have to make
changes to the ways in which we organize ourselves and conduct our internal business. A prime example of this is the new Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS). Being in its first year, the implementation of the new UAS proved to be challenging
yet we rose to administer it very successfully. As you know, Friendship Centres are dynamic and evolving and have always found creative solutions to address pressing issues.
Again, we are entering a time of transition and change as the federal election approaches. With a new government coming into power, we will redouble our efforts to continue to engage senior decision makers in government to ensure the
recognition of Friendship Centres as an integral part of the social, cultural and economic fabric of Canada and as instrumental in ensuring that Aboriginal people are able to contribute to Canada’s future economic prosperity as
we approach Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.
As has been the case from the earliest beginnings of the Friendship Centre Movement, innovation, energy and enterprise will continue to be the key to our success. As we look to the future, we know that Friendship Centres are well positioned
to continue to be what we now think of as hubs for social innovation, and platforms for increased partnerships to the benefit of all of our urban Aboriginal peoples.
Our successes are directly attributed to the dedication, innovation and efforts of all Friendship Centre Boards of Directors, Elders, Youth, staff and volunteers. Your work allows Friendship Centres to continue to be the most significant
and successful network of urban based Aboriginal service delivery organization in Canada, and the best practice model globally. Thank you for your continued dedication.
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Executive Director, National Association of Friendship Centres
Our mission is to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal peoples in an urban environment by supporting self-determined activities which encourage equal access to, and participation in, Canadian Society; and which respect and strengthen the increasing
emphasis on Aboriginal Cultural distinctiveness.
The Membership of the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) hereby makes the following declaration:
- We are strong and united as a Movement across Canada.
- We hold and share a common vision and purpose of improving the quality of life for Aboriginal Peoples living in the Canadian urban environment.
- We are committed to ensuring full and meaningful participation by youth in all planning and decision making processes within the Friendship Centre Movement.
- We support the leadership of the NAFC in advancing the interests of the Friendship Centre Movement across Canada.
- We affirm our respect for women and the place of honour they hey hold in our communities and within our Movement.
Further, be it resolved: That we call on the Prime Minister of Canada, the Federal Cabinet, all members of the House of Commons to realize and acknowledge the strength and unity of the Friendship Centre Movement.
Further, be it resolved: That the Friendship Centre Movement issue a challenge to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Federal Cabinet and members of the House of Commons to help us instil in Aboriginal people a renewed self-confidence
for the future. We will challenge Canada to work with us – in partnership – to rectify our social wounds. Only with renewed efforts and partnerships can we impart- for urban Aboriginal people – support the values that truly reflect
a more just and caring society.
Finally, be it resolved: That the Association promote – via correspondence, meeting, discussions, project reports, presentation and distribution of information packages, etc.; its use of this Declaration in all external communications
and lobbying efforts.
The membership of the NAFC endorsed Resolution #01-08 Declaration of Strength and Unity during the 30th Annual General Meeting in Winnipeg, MB, July 2001. Ten years later in 2011 the NAFC would return to Winnipeg to celebrate its 40th
Anniversary as a National Aboriginal Organization.
The 40th AGM provided an excellent opportunity for the Friendship Centre Movement to re-affirm the Declaration of Strength and Unity.
Executive Committee and Board of Directors
The NAFC is governed by both a volunteer Executive Committee and a volunteer Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is comprised of eleven regional representatives including members from the Aboriginal Youth Council (AYC) and the
Senate. Board members are selected by the Provincial/Territorial Associations.
To view our Executive Committee and Board of Directors, click here.
Senators are individuals who are recognized for representing a set of core values which reflect the history and evolution of the Friendship Centre Movement. Senators provide information, guidance or advice to the Friendship Centre
Movement and are highly respected ambassadors of the Friendship Centre Movement.
To view Senate members, click here.
Aboriginal Youth Council (AYC)
The AYC brings a unified youth voice that helps guide the Friendship Centre Movement in a number of youth priority issues as well as provides a youth presence in the decision-making process of the Friendship Centre Movement.
To view AYC members, click here.