Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Canadian Native Friendship Centre (Edmonton, Alta.)
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(from ANFC website)
The Friendship Centre Movement began in the mid-1950s when groups were formed in most urban areas across Canada to represent the interests of the increasing number of Indigenous peoples migrating from outlying reserves. These early Friendship Centres existed mainly as referral agencies between established social service organizations and urban Indigenous residents. Funding of these early centres was dependent on individual volunteers and their ability to raise operating funds though various fundraising events and private donations.
As the stream of new arrivals continued to grow throughout the 1960s, Friendship Centre staff became increasingly aware of the need to extend their services beyond a referral mandate. For this to be possible, increased organization and adequate funding for each Centre was necessary. To support this transition, in the late 1960s, Friendship Centres began organizing into Provincial/Territorial Associations (PTAs): unifying bodies aimed at providing administrative support to each of the local Friendship Centres within their specified region.
With the increased organization and supportive network that ensued from the creation of the PTAs, local Friendship Centres were able to expand their services beyond their referral mandate to concentrate on proactively encouraging and assisting Indigenous peoples to adjust and thrive more successfully in their new urban environment. With this refocus, both the public at large as well as Provincial and Federal governments began to recognize the viability and importance of the Friendship Centre Indigenous Self-Reliance Movement.
In 1972, the government of Canada’s support of the movement was formally recognized with her implementation of the Migrating Native Peoples Program (MNPP); providing operational funding to each of the then 40 Centres across Canada. The MNPP was renamed the Aboriginal Friendship Centre Program (AFCP) in 1988. The federal government’s commitment to supporting Friendship Centres has been ongoing with the renewal of the Aboriginal Friendship Centres Program. The AFCP program now provides core operational funding to 115 local Friendship Centres across Canada— 20 of which are located in communities throughout Alberta.
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Dates of creation, revision and deletion
2016-06-21. Anna St.Onge. Creation