Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network
Established 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.