Media Release: The NAFC commits over $2 million to urban Indigenous Social Purpose Organizations with more to come


December 13, 2022


The NAFC commits over $2 million to urban Indigenous Social Purpose Organizations with more to come

The NAFC is pleased to announce that it is committing over $2 million in Investment Readiness Program funding to 28 urban Indigenous social purpose organizations from coast to coast to coast.

The Investment Readiness Program is an ESDC funded initiative that seeks to support social purpose organizations (charities, non-profits, co-operatives) as they develop their social enterprises, and work towards goals of becoming investment-ready in Canada’s growing social finance market. The NAFC is working alongside Chantier de l’économie sociale, Community Foundations of Canada, Canadian Women’s Foundation and the Foundation for Black Communities in delivering $50 million in IRP funding to SPOs across the country. In particular, the NAFC is working to ensure that Friendship Centres and other urban Indigenous social purpose organizations have access to capital to develop, start and grow their social enterprises. These organizations have historically faced significant barriers in accessing capital to participate in Canada’s economic systems and growth.

In the previous iteration of the IRP, the NAFC exclusively funded Friendship Centres, however the NAFC has now opened its IRP to all urban Indigenous social purpose organizations. Funded urban Indigenous SPOs, Friendship Centres included, address significant social needs in their respective communities and have a historical track record of creating positive impacts in their community.

IRP funds will be supporting these urban Indigenous SPOs in developing, starting and growing their social enterprises or in monetizing their existing community-serving programs. Funded projects range from housing initiatives to art boutiques and food services and address a number of community needs such as employment, homelessness, cultural revitalization and economic reconciliation. In line with the NAFC’s IRP selection criteria, all projects work towards the growth and generation of collective wealth within the urban Indigenous ecosystem.

Funded IRP projects are also ensuring that urban Indigenous communities occupy significant space and presence with urban centres. An example of such a project is the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre’s tourism site development project in the city of Halifax, that seeks to develop tourism opportunities along the cities popular harbourfront “The Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre is excited to continue investment into urban Indigenous tourism opportunities, providing economic growth to our community while further promoting an Indigenous cultural presence throughout the city of Kjipuktuk (Halifax) and the province” – Pamela Glode-Desrochers, Mi’kmaw Friendship Centre.

The NAFC’s IRP is also supporting innovative approaches to community health issues and needs, one such example is the Indigenous Pharmacy project being led by the Lu’ma Medical Centre Society in the city of Vancouver. The NAFC will be supporting the centre in the development of a business plan and model for an Indigenous Pharmacy that incorporates Indigenous and western medicines in its provision of pharmaceutical services.

"We are pleased this contribution will aid the development of a business plan for an Indigenous owned and operated two eyed seeing pharmacy model that will benefit Indigenous community members and provide access to ethical and culturally safe medicines. Net profits from the sale of western prescriptions will be invested to increase access to traditional medicines, assist in providing primary care services enhancements, and support Youth aging out of care." – Kent Patenaude, President, Board of Directors, Lu’ma Medical Centre Society

Here is the list of all funded SPOs for the round of the NAFC’s IRP, project details will be made available on the NAFC website in the coming weeks:

Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness Society

Victoria, BC

Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association

Edmonton, AB

Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G)

Ottawa, ON

Atlohsa Family Healing Services

London, ON

Building Urban Industries for Local Development Inc.

Winnipeg, MB

Centre d'amitié autochtone de Val-d'Or

Val-d'Or, QC

Circles for Reconciliation

Winnipeg, MB

Fearless R2W

Winnipeg, MB

Flin Flon Aboriginal Friendship Centre

Flin Flon, MB

Grand Prairie Friendship Centre

Grand Prairie, AB

High Prairie Native Friendship Centre

High Prairie, AB

Ile a la Crosse Friendship Centre

Ile a la Crosse, SK

Indigenous Experiences

Ottawa, ON

Labrador Friendship Centre

Happy Valley Goose Bay, NL

Lu'ma Medical Centre Society

Vancouver, BC

Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Society

Halifax, NS

Minwaashin Lodge: Indigenous Women's Support Centre

Ottawa, ON

Odawa Native Friendship Centre

Ottawa, ON

Pow Wow Pitch

Ottawa, ON

Qu'Appelle Valley Friendship Centre

Fort Qu'Appelle, SK

Riverton & District Friendship Centre

Riverton, MB

Saskatoon Indian Metis Friendship Centre

Saskatoon, SK

Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre

Hay River, NWT

Tears to Hope Society

Terrace, BC

Tłįchǫ Łeagia Ts’įįlį Kǫ (TLTK) 

Behchoko, NWT

Under One Sky - Monoqonuwicik-Neoteetjg Mosigisg Inc.

Fredericton, NB

Wachiay Friendship Centre Society

Courtenay, BC

Zhahti Koe Friendship Centre

Fort Providence, NWT



John Paillé
Senior Communications Coordinator

The NAFC represents over 100 local Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations in every province and territory in Canada (except Prince Edward Island). Friendship Centres are urban Indigenous community hubs that provide a wide range of programs and services for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people living in urban, rural, and northern communities. Collectively, Friendship Centres are the largest and most comprehensive urban Indigenous service delivery network in Canada.