Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network

EventEstablished in 2007, the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network (UAKN) is a community driven research network with a focus on urban Indigenous concerns. The goal of this network is to contribute to a better quality of life for Indigenous peoples living in cities and towns by filling the current knowledge gaps in urban Indigenous research, programming, and public policy. 

There has been little research on the growing and vibrant urban Indigenous population. The dimensions of urban Indigenous lives and the issues facing urban Indigenous peoples have not been examined and analyzed in a rigorous fashion toward the development of healthy progressive public policy.

UAKN research aims at fostering mino-biimaadiziwin–the good life–for urban Indigenous peoples. This goal is achieved through funding high-quality, policy-relevant research that brings together perspectives from academia, government, and the urban Indigenous community. UAKN has established a national, interdisciplinary network involving universities, communities, and government partners for research, scholarship, and knowledge mobilization.

At the community level, Friendship Centres and other urban Indigenous organizations play a critical role in our research development and policy improvement processes. These organizations have effectively worked to ease social dislocation, assist with separation from family and counter racial discrimination experienced by First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.

UAKN was co-developed by the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) and the former Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (now called Indigenous Services Canada) in 2007. With support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), UAKN is poised to provide policy makers across Canada the knowledge to move forward together with Indigenous peoples using evidence collected by the community for the community. 

Visit the UAKN Website here!


UAKN Compendium

In 2007, the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) began working with David Newhouse, a professor at Trent University who has been involved in the Friendship Centre Movement (FCM) since 1978 locally, provincially, and nationally, and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (now Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada) to create the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network (UAKN). In 2012, Professor Newhouse, Chair of the Chanie Wenjack School of Indigenous Studies at Trent, was awarded a $2.5 million Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant spread over 5 years to launch the UAKN nationally. The title of the grant was Research For A Better Life, and its overarching goal was to foster “mino-bimaadiziwin”—the good life—for urban Indigenous peoples.

The UAKN Compendium: Research for a Better Life is a celebration of the community-driven research completed during the grant’s lifetime. The reports summarized in this compendium speak to the many ways in which Indigenous peoples continue to make the city home. The city is a place where they create communities, institutions, and relationships in a shared multicultural space. It is a place where Indigenous peoples who have chosen to reside there can pursue mino-bimaadiziwin. The projects of the UAKN are excellent examples of self-determination translated into concrete community-building endeavours and committed efforts to build good relationships and good lives with all our relations. Keep an eye out in the coming months for the French version!

Please click the link to read more about the incredible urban Indigenous community-driven research projects!

UAKN Compendium – Research for a Better Life