Examples of projects supported by the IRP
Wachiay Friendship Centre – Courtenay, BC
Wachiay Studio is a social enterprise operated by the Wachiay Friendship Centre in Courtenay, British Columbia. With a focus on urban and rural Indigenous youth, the studio offers services for artists, schools, community groups, and individuals to learn screen printing while working alongside industry professionals. In addition to its training programs, the studio provides commercial print services that include textiles, posters, and fine art screen printing.
The Studio came into existence as a result of evening art classes and a desire to attract increased numbers of Indigenous youth, adults and elders over the years. Classes included: screen printing; art skills development; cultural knowledge and amplification and entrepreneurial training. Participants created ‘One Tribe’, a cooperative that promotes a social economy with benefits accruing to Indigenous community members. The Studio was incorporated May 17, 2015, with the social purpose to promote Indigenous art and culture and provide affordable printing services to Indigenous artists, Indigenous schools and community members / groups. The studio is capable of printing art on textiles, paper, wood, plastic, glass, metal and more.
For more information on the Wachiay Studio, please visit: https://wachiaystudio.com/
INDIGENOUS CULTURAL DIVERSITY TRAINING
Under One Sky Friendship Centre – Fredericton, NB
Under One Sky offer’s half and full day professional development workshops on cultural safety and humility in the workplace, with an emphasis on Indigenous peoples. As an Indigenous led non-profit, Under One Sky Friendship Centre staff provide firsthand insights and practical knowledge that participants can apply in their personal and professional life. Their Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training provides a foundation of knowledge that can help workplaces and their employees navigate cross-cultural dynamics with other cultures, be it staff or clients. Since launching the ICDT program, over 25 sessions have provided more than 300 employees and key decision makers (across healthcare, government, public, private and education sectors) with the tools and knowledge required to identify, address, and resolve issues related to racism and discrimination through group discussions, role-playing, scenario analysis, and reflection activities through the ICDT program. As a direct result of the IRP funding, ICDT sessions have been made more readily available and easily accessible for teams and organizations who recognize the urgency of delivering culturally appropriate services both within their organization and to their clients - increase cultural understanding/awareness and more effective, anti-racist practices.
For more information on the program please visit: https://www.uosfc.ca/cultural-diversity-training
INDIGENOUS SPIRIT CREATIONS
Lac La Biche Friendship Centre Association – Lac La Biche, AB
In 2016, the Lac La Biche Friendship Centre expanded to include a social enterprise venture, Indigenous Spirit Creations, a for-profit cultural experience venture that employs Indigenous people, strengthens partnerships within the community, supports and promotes local Indigenous artisans, and revitalizes traditional teachings and practices. Under this social enterprise venture, the Centre has created partnerships with Alberta Parks to develop Indigenous cultural tourism initiatives such as Tipi Comfort Camping and Cook it Raw. More recently, the Centre has partnered with Hideaway Adventure Grounds to provide Métis Comfort Camping experiences.
With the expansion of their programming, and their growing relationships with local, provincial, and national organizations, authorities, and communities, the Lac La Biche Friendship Centre is becoming an important cultural centre for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to come together. Herein, their role is shifting from solely social service delivery to a collaborative cultural centre. The Friendship Centre now faces a growing demand for its services and the association has outgrown their existing facility at 10105 Churchill Drive in Lac La Biche.
KLATAWA BIKE SHOP
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society – Vancouver, BC
VAFCS' Klatawa Community Bike Shop has made a substantial and positive impact for the urban aboriginal population as well as the cycling community. Moreover, the bike shop has made a name for itself by providing a safe environment for youth, adults and their families to socially participate in bike mechanics. The shop has been providing full-service bike repairs since August 2019 and has run two bicycle mechanic programs to date. In fact, the bicycle shop has created opportunities for employment for twelve Indigenous bike mechanics who all have been hired in professional shops. More importantly, the shop is a safe haven for all cyclists to learn, share wisdom and promote healthier choices through cycling as a means of transportation. The bike shop is the only Indigenous ran bike shop in Vancouver, which encourages community through an indigenous perspective in a predominantly non-indigenous industry. Moreover, this enhances the urban aboriginal community to socially participate in the cycling industry either as bike mechanics or recreational cyclists. This is especially important as Klatawa provides bike repairs and sells bicycles at the fraction of other shops.