The official spokespeople for the NAFC are Jocelyn Formsma (Executive Director), and Christopher Sheppard (Board President). All requests must be sent through the Communications Team. The NAFC’s Communications Team works to raise awareness and support regarding the Friendship Centre Movement, as well as broadening the understanding of the Urban Indigenous experience across Canada.
Contact the Communications Team!
- Annie Aningmiuq, Communications & Policy Manager - firstname.lastname@example.org
- John Paillé, Interim Communications Officer, email@example.com
Our Areas of Expertise
- Friendship Centres and the Friendship Centre Movement
- Anything relating to Urban Indigeneity (issues, population, demographics, etc.)
- Our research, please see here.
Friendship Centre Stories
Here you’ll find stories and articles written in-house about Friendship Centres from across the country. If you have a story you’d like to tell, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
NAFC’s 49th Annual Meeting
NAFC's 31st Annual Youth Forum
Supporting Indigenous Cultures campaign
The NAFC took part in the national Supporting Indigenous Cultures campaign published by Mediaplanet. To read our article and also learn about the organizations, academic institutions, and partnerships working to support Indigenous peoples in reaching their highest potential and in building strong communities, follow the link.
From March 16-19, 2020, the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) and the Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society (KAFS) are honoured to host Gathering our Voices 2020 on Secwépemc traditional territory.
Every year, Gathering Our Voices brings together up to 2,000 Indigenous youth delegates as well as chaperones, Elders, speakers, guests, entertainment, staff and volunteers. Young Indigenous people from across Canada are invited to join us to explore, to learn and to engage with culture among peers.
The BCAAFC and its members have long recognized the need for Indigenous youth to come together in a supportive and encouraging environment. Thus, Gathering Our Voices was established in order to raise our hands and honour Indigenous youth for their resilience, strength and leadership.
To learn more about Gathering Our Voices, please visit their website.
Well over one hundred Indigenous community leaders, experts, and decision makers are expected to gather at Trent University February 18-21 for CINSA 2020, a conference co-hosted by the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network (UAKN), the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies at Trent University, and CINSA.
This year’s conference will feature presentations, discussions, film screenings, and performances that highlight community-driven research on the theme of Imagining and Creating Indigenous Futures, particularly in urban spaces. Keynote speakers include Drew Hayden Taylor, one of Canada’s leading Native playwrights and humourists, and Sylvia Maracle, journalist, noted speaker, and world-changer.
Indigenous and non-Indigenous community leaders and administrators, program managers, policy makers, researchers, and students will benefit from attending and the public is welcome. Advance registration is required.
For more information and registration, please visit the website.
We are excited to announce that we are partnering with Future of Good to publish pieces showcasing the people and innovation behind the Friendship Centre Movement.
If you, your Friendship Centre or Provincial/Territorial Association has a story you'd like to share, please get in touch.
Our first piece is coming out this weekend, on International Women's Day. Make sure you sign up for the special series newsletter!
COVID-19: NAFC Updates
April 3, 2020
Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations (PTA) across the country have been on the front lines, doing the best we can, with limited resources to support urban Indigenous communities. With the health, safety and wellbeing of our community members and Movement top of mind we think it’s important to be clear about the recent federal government supports announced.
As many of you know, the federal government announced a $305 million Indigenous Community Support Fund (ICF), $15 million of which would be made available to urban organizations through an upcoming call for proposals. There is no guarantee of funding, and no amount has been set aside specifically for Friendship Centres.
Friendship Centres do not yet have COVID-19 response funds. A proposal is currently being developed by the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) for member Friendship Centres and PTAs.
If funds are secured, the NAFC will distribute directly (we are uncertain exactly when funds will flow out) to Friendship Centres to provide COVID-19 response and community supports as needed and identified by the local urban Indigenous community levels. While some Friendship Centres may opt to provide gift cards to community members, it is not expected that these funds will be distributed directly to individuals.
March 16, 2020
Since the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic, the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) has been doing our best to navigate the response and support our network of over 107 member Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations across the country. We are paying close attention to the daily updates provided from public health and are abiding by all of their recommendations.
With the safety of our community members and Movement in mind; our priority is to support Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations in whatever they need and in whatever decisions they make and we are in constant conversation with them during this time.
In recent days we have provided Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) with a heads up about the challenges Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations may have in meeting deliverables due to the virus response. We have requested that any information they send out to Indigenous organizations, also be provided to us so we can keep the Friendship Centre Movement informed. We have also requested that the federal government ensure Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations have access to the $1-billion fund announced to combat the coronavirus.
We will be following up with different federal departments in the coming days to ensure we are kept top of mind when it comes to providing information and resources so that we are able to assist local Friendship Centres in keeping the urban Indigenous communities informed, safe, and help curb the spread of the virus as much as possible.
At the national office, we have offered work from home options, canceled all upcoming travel, and have taken extra measures to ensure disinfecting. We know that these are not always possible with frontline work, but we want the Friendship Centre Movement to know that even if we may not all be at the office, we are still available.
If you wish to get in contact with us, please reach out via e-mail. You can find our staff directory here.
COVID-19 New Ways of Running Friendship Centre Programming
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Friendship Centres have proven their commitment to their community members in finding new ways to reach them through social media and technology! Here are a few examples of what we've seen over the past several weeks;
- British Columbia Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centre: Helping to encourage people to connect online during physical distancing. Providing resource lists/highlighting the impact this will have on Indigenous communities.
- Mission Friendship Centre Society: Wellness Kitchen Live, every Wednesday at 2 p.m. PST (week 1: handwashing and bannock making). Women’s group workshop: making hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes on Facebook live.
- Dze L K'ant Friendship Centre Society: Providing printable signs for seniors and high-risk individuals that do not have the means of communication. Looking at collecting information re: emergency services for off reserve members. An update on their HIV treatment and prevention programming.
- Alberta Native Friendship Centre Association: Sharing advice for teens, and general social media shareables for COVID-19 like posters.
- Athabasca Native Friendship Centre: Providing online resources for arts and crafts, continuing pow wow club online.
- Canadian Native Friendship Centre: youth engagement through contests on social media. General engagement from survey, sharing heartfelt videos and workout videos.
- Hinton Friendship Centre: Providing food bank services for the vulnerable by social media or by phone.
- Riverton & District Friendship Centre: Providing shopping services through call orders for those unable/supporting local food banks.
- The Pas Friendship Centre: Lunch bag donation and delivery.
- The Portage Friendship Centre: providing care packages to their community while also looking for donations.
- Regroupement des centres d'amitié autochtones du Québec: Support and information. Sending out a massive thank you to Friendship Centre employees and volunteers.
- Centre d'amitié autochtone de Val-d’Or: Moving the services of Chez Willy, a place of respite for the homeless, to the Hall Hécla Quebec de la Place Eagle Place. Daily updates provided re: the work they’re doing and essential services to their community (day five update)
- Native Montreal: Craft Circle, embroidery and beading through Facebook Live.
- Centre d'amitié autochtone du Lac-Saint-Jean: providing herbal medicine kits to their community.
- Centre d'amitié autochtone de Maniwaki: Online challenges/contest every few days on Facebook.
- Centre d'amitié autochtone du Saguenay: Maintaining essential services.
- Centre d'amitié autochtone de Sept-Iles: Video conference training for their entire team.
- Centre d'amitié autochtone du Lac-Saint-Jean: Delivering activity kits to their community members.
- Barrie Native Friendship Centre: Staff rotate providing updates from their homes.
- Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre: Started a daily engagement challenge on social media. Drumming in Mi'Kmaqi.
- People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Center: Creating virtual spaces for their community to connect.
- First Light St. John’s Friendship Centre: Providing virtual and teleconference call for community and cultural programs. Many activities via Facebook Live; concerts, Mother Goose sessions, men’s drumming, Inuit programming (see all virtual programming for the week)
Do you have a program or story you would like to share on how your Friendship Centre is supporting your community during COVID-19? Please send us an e-mail!
COVID-19: NAFC Resource List
Updated: July 7, 2020 (Google Doc. updated daily)
Since the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic, the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) has been doing our best to navigate the response and support our network of over 107-member Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations across the country. We are paying close attention to the daily updates provided from public health and are abiding by all of their recommendations.
With the safety of our community members and Movement in mind; our priority is to support Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations in whatever they need and in whatever decisions they make. Please note that this information should not be taken as advice.
We have been working hard behind the scenes to develop a resource list which you may find beneficial as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have any questions, or require additional support, please contact us:
- For Friendship Centre specific information: email@example.com
- For resources that should be added to this resource: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For communications requests: email@example.com
General resources for Friendship Centers
During this time, we advise Friendship Centres to:
- Contact their funders to confirm flexibility on use of funds, reporting, and completing deliverables.
- Track your expenses that are a response to the pandemic.
- Follow their provincial and local public health authorities for the most updated and relevant information for your community.
Public Health Canada has dedicated a webpage towards Community-based measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Canada. This provides a more in-depth explanation on COVID-19 and includes conversation on social distancing at a community-level, community-based measures and COVID-19, and how we should move forward with this outbreak.
Here are a few resources that can assist with how to proceed amidst the COVID-19 outbreak at a local Friendship Centre level.
- Community Foundation of Canada - Dealing with COVID-19 as a Community Foundation
- Ontario Non-profit Network: Non-profit on the frontline of COVID-19
- Communicating Through the Coronavirus Crisis
- Managing through and building resilience during the outbreak
- Sponsorship During Times of Crisis: Cancelled Events, Postponing and Refunds
- Hosting, Postponing, or Cancelling Mass Gatherings
- What Non-profit Board Members Should be Doing Right Now to Address the COVID-19 Situation
- Pandemic Law Canada
- COVID-19 Response Framework for People Experiencing Homelessness
Canada’s Response to COVID-19
A list of resources that outlines the immediate actions that the Government is taking to help and support Canadians facing hardship as a result of this outbreak:
- Government of Canada Takes Action on COVID-19
- Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
- Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- News Releases
- News releases from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
- Structural Profile of Public Health in Canada
- The Government of Canada created a document outlining what is coronavirus, the symptoms and treatment, how to be prepared, prevention and risk, and Canada's response to this virus.
- There is also an updated list on the areas in Canada with COVID-19 cases.
- There are is also a number of printable resources and downloads that can be easily shared with community members.
- About Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- Know the Difference: Self-Monitoring, Self-Isolation, and Isolation for COVID-19
- Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Vulnerable Population and COVID-19
- Be Prepared (COVID-19)
- How to Care for a Person with COVID-19 at Home: Advice for Caregivers
- Reduce the Spread of COVID-19: Wash Your Hands
- Cleaning and Disinfecting for Public Settings
- There is also information on the different forms of Hand Hygiene.
- Be sure to check out the following infographics:
- If you are seeking for further information, there is a COVID-19 Virtual Assistant that can help narrow down your search and direct you to the appropriate page to better answer your questions.
- Indigenous Services Canada has provided a number of information and resources pertaining to COVID-19 and Indigenous communities, this also consists of a video from Indigenous Services Canada and their updates on this outbreak.
- Public service announcements regarding COVID-19 have also been provided in various Indigenous languages.
- The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) has shared a list of resources, including the Important Steps for Communities.
- Here is a flowchart to assist when attempting to get further guidance on getting checked over the phone, in person, and what to do if you are showing symptoms.
- This is an active document that consists of international updates and resources on COVID-19 that was compiled by Public Health Ontario.
- The Urban Indian Health Institute has a downloaded resource with people living with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Diabetes Voice has provided information to better assist individuals that are diabetic during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Provides information on ensuring a safe and clean environment for drug use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Online Intergroup Alcoholics Anonymous group offers a directory of AA Canada meetings in various mediums such as Zoom Meeting, one tap mobile, and one can dial by their location.
- There are resources available for folks’ part of the LBGTQ+ community, folks that are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, loners/internationalists, and atheist/agonistic.
- Ending Violence Association of Canada has provided a directory of resources based on provinces for individuals that are experiencing domestic violence.
- The Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) will continue providing emotional support to women experiencing gender-based domestic violence.
- Shelter Safe will still be providing support to women and children that are fleeing from violence. Their crisis lines will also still be open to provide information on creating safety planning.
- Crisis Services Canada (CSC) has provided a list of local resources and support for individuals that may have suicidal thoughts, and has COVID-19 Resources.
- LGBT Youth Line has provided an online directory of support and resources that can respond to the needs of individuals within the LGBTQ+ community.
- Good2Talk provides support for post-secondary students in Ontario and Nova Scotia.
- Hands The Family Help Network has a list of resources and tools that can help youth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Kids Help Now will continue providing support and assistance to youth. (They have also provided additional resources based on one’s location.)
- Child Trends has compiled a list of resources and recommendations on how to better support a child’s emotional well-being.
Mental Health Related Resources
- The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared tips on how to cope with stress during the outbreak of the Coronavirus. There is information to help reduce stress for yourself and those around you, assistance for parents and children, and folks that have been released from quarantine. They have a webpage dedicated to Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event and ways in which we can take care of emotional health. To ensure the safety of individuals that mental health issues, there is information on reducing stigma.
- The Canadian Hearing Services has compiled a list of counsellors that can be connected virtually.
- The Alberta Health Services has provided breathing exercises and activities that can help manage stress.
- The Canadian Mental Health Association has put together some resources that can help with your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak. This webpage also provides credible sources that can further assist with topics surrounding mental health.
- The CMHA has also include information regarding stigma and discrimination.
- The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has provided an array of resources and information on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, answers to FAQs, and methods to better assess your stress and anxiety levels, as well as tools to better deal with isolation and self-quarantine.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has provided a tip sheet on social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. This tip sheet explores the feeling and thoughts that you might have while and after social distancing, quarantine, and isolation; as well as, providing information to help navigate those experience.
- Mental Health America (MHA) has shared information and resources for managing one’s anxiety, tools that can help stay connected (especially for individuals living with mental illness), and more information to help support youth members.
- Anxiety Canada has shared suggestion on how to best cope and manage the anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- The Children’s Mental Health Ontario has shared information on how to assist a child dealing with anxiety during this pandemic.
- The Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child & Youth Mental Health has created a list of resources on how to better support youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have also included printable resources and activities to better explain the current happenings.
- This active google document provides free and affordable mental health resources; as well as, a list of crisis hotlines, online therapy websites, and tools to ease one’s anxiety during these times.
Indigenous Specific Resources
Although there hasn’t been any information regarding the use of traditional medicine and COVID-19, we believe it is important to include Indigenous resources in this resources list and may be of value to you!
Indigenous Services Canada
- Protecting the health and safety of Indigenous Communities in close proximity to natural resource operations: Guidance for Indigenous communities https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1592487905243/1592487940872
First Nations, Inuit and Métis businesses have access to all measures provided through the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, and are encouraged to review it to see what financial supports might be available to them. Attached is a product that provides more information on benefits provided, such as the Funding for small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, Canada Emergency Business Account, Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses. We appreciate your support in sharing this information widely.
For more information on the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, visit: Canada.ca/economic-response-plan
- Guidance on Re-Opening Northern, Remote, Isolated, and Indigenous Communities
- Indigenous Climate Action has provided a number of amazing resources that are Indigenous focused to help stay informed and provide guidance during this outbreak.
- These resources touch on:
- Social Distancing
- Mental Health Support
- Traditional Medicines and Holistic Practices
- Entertainment for Teens and Adults
- Maintaining Community Connection
- Making a Clean Space
- Community Care
- The NDN Collective has shared information on traditional practices that can help manage stress and reinforce community care during COVID-19.
- The Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP. (OKT) has created a blog with general assistance to First Nations regarding pandemic planning, funding and potential legal issues.
- The Yellowhead Institute complied a document to summarize the conversations surrounding Indigenous communities and COVID-19.
- TVO has shared a video identifying the challenges that are specific to Indigenous communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clean & Disinfect
- The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has a helpful and updates resources on COVID-19. Provides an array of information on how to clean and disinfect, how to clean your environment if someone is sick, and information on environmental cleaning and disinfection recommendations.
- The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) demonstrates best practices when ensuring a clean environment, washing your hands, and protecting yourself.
List of Resources and Information Based on Provinces
Prince Edward Island
Request for Proposals: External Evaluation
Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network
- Organization Background
The UAKN is a community driven research network with a focus on urban Indigenous issues. Our goal is to contribute to a better quality of life for Indigenous peoples living in cities and towns by filling the current knowledge gap in urban Indigenous research, programming and public policy. The UAKN is a national, interdisciplinary network involving universities, community, and government partners for research, scholarship and knowledge mobilization.
The UAKN’s national network provides a different kind of partnership by developing stronger research relationships, through a community driven process. Our governance brings together urban Indigenous communities, academics, governments and other stakeholders in pursuit of knowledge creation, mobilization and transfer.
The UAKN has grown to include over 80 formal partners with over 80 regional research projects funded. A priority area of the UAKN is to ensure training of new and emerging scholars, especially Indigenous scholars. To date 30 graduate and undergraduate students have been involved in various capacities. The UAKN also supports communities as they build their own research capacity through this process. We look forward to more opportunities to expand our network as we move forward.
- Project Summary
The UAKN requires the services of an evaluation firm or consultant, preferably Indigenous-owned or with Indigenous employees in key positions, to work with the existing UAKN to develop and implement an evaluation of the UAKN’s research, governance structure and overall effectiveness and successes of the network.
The evaluation will require the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data from a variety of sources using methods that include but are not limited to, existing program data, key informant interviews, focus groups, surveys, testimonials, and community engagement strategies.
- Project Requirements
The successful candidate will draw upon internal expertise, collective knowledge, literature and SSHRC guidelines and reporting requirements to identify common standardized indicators that would be meaningful from both regional and local contexts.
3.1 Evaluation Components
The evaluation will include several components that utilize a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The process component will evaluate the UAKN as a whole. The iterative component will include the annual reporting and identification of wise practices, and challenges and recommendations on how to address those challenges. The formative component will examine the development of the UAKN and its governance. The final component is the summative, which will result in the final report.
3.2 Quantitative Methodologies
The UAKN collects a variety of data as part of the existing reporting process and this data can be used as the main information source for quantifying the Network’s successes at the local level. In addition to capturing the UAKN in any given year it provides an opportunity to measure increases and decreases in Network participation and outcomes. Using existing data also reduces the cost of carrying out an evaluation as this work can be done by existing UAKN staff.
3.3 Qualitative Methodologies
The inclusion of qualitative data in the evaluation is key to ensuring that program successes and challenges are appropriately contextualized. Qualitative data provides an opportunity to better understand network impacts, it provides opportunities to identify and address Network challenges and adopt quality assurance measures, and it ensures community participation in the evaluation process.
Supporting documentation in UAKN’s possession will be provided to the successful firm/consultant. The firm/consultant may need to do independent research for additional documentation.
4. Project Deliverables
The deliverables include:
- An evaluation work plan, with a timeline and budget, that is developed in partnership with the UAKN, consistent with Indigenous ways of knowing and doing, utilizes methodologies that incorporate capacity building and support, and is flexible to ensure compatibility with the varying levels of capacity that exist across the Network;
- An evaluation framework that includes goals and objectives, and identifies the relationships between factors key to the Network’s activities as well as the internal and external elements that may potentially affect the Network’s success;
- A participatory approach to identify qualitative and quantitative indicators for each party involved in the implementation of the Network’s research and activities across the country;
- A methodology / process for joint analysis and interpretation of the data;
- Communications plan (recruitment, dissemination, etc.);
- Ethical protocols (i.e., informed consent, confidentiality considerations, data ownership, etc.);
- Key informant interview schedule, questionnaires, data analysis methods;
- A draft report and;
- A final report.
- Contractor Experience and Qualifications
Applicants will demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of:
- The unique and diverse issues concerning urban Indigenous populations, communities, and organizations, including, but not limited to, the ongoing impacts of colonization and those related to sex, gender, age, identity, and geographic location;
- The importance of research ethics and culturally safe approaches to working with Indigenous communities and peoples.
In addition, applicants will describe their:
- Awareness of and experience with Indigenous approaches to evaluation;
- Demonstrated experience working with Indigenous communities in program evaluation.
- Experiences in academic, government and public sector research and network evaluation.
Experience working with the Friendship Centre Movement will be considered an asset.
6. Contract Parameters
Applicants will provide a quote for work as described, inclusive of all taxes and fees, but inclusive of any travel that may be required. The UAKN assumes no responsibility for third party relationships entered into by the successful firm/consultant. The UAKN reserves the right to choose the applicant that will best serve the needs of the organization, which may not be the applicant with the lowest quote.
The final report is due August 1st, 2020. However, due to the current circumstances, the submission date may be subject to change.
The contractor will be required to work from their usual place of work and provide their own work equipment and workplace infrastructure to complete the work required under this project, including office, computer/laptop, phone/cell phone/fax machine, printer, internet access, and all other materials required to complete this project.
6.4 Intellectual Property
All information, documents or resource materials developed as part of this contract and work related to this project will remain the intellectual property of the UAKN.
The UAKN will provide all background and other materials and information to the Contractor required to complete the project deliverables.
The Contractor will provide staff support throughout all stages of this contract and project, for direction and clarity of objectives.
The Contractor will provide updates on the progress of the project as deliverables are completed and as requested by the UAKN.
6.6 Contractor Requirements
The Contractor will be required to meet all the project activities and deliverables described in this RFP to the satisfaction of the UAKN.
The Contractor will be required to take direction and feedback from the UAKN as provided to complete the project deliverables.
6.7 Payment Terms
Payment will be made by Trent University on behalf of the UAKN upon receipt of an invoice from the Contractor upon successful completion of the project deliverables.
7. Requirements for responding to this RFP
Individuals/firms interested in responding to this RFP are required to provide the following to the UAKN:
- Comprehensive proposal with quote, methodology, general proposed approach and timeline;
- Candidates will highlight how their experiences and qualifications meet the needs of this Request for Proposals;
- Any ethical considerations in their proposals as well as potential risks and how they will mitigate those risks;
- Short biographies on any proposed team members.
- List of 3 references for previous work completed;
- Examples of previous work with the Friendship Centre Movement, urban Indigenous peoples or research project evaluations if any.
- Statement of Indigenous ownership or control.
8. Closing Date/Time:
The closing date for this RFP is May 1s, 2020.
Proposals must be received by 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) and be addressed to the attention of the (UAKN Secretariat or David Newhouse
The UAKN bears no responsibility for misdirected or misaddressed proposals or for proposals that may be incomplete on receipt and review.
The application period for Round 1 of the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) is now open! Find a guide on the application process, and information on eligibility here. If you have any questions that can't be answered by the information provided, please contact Shady Hafez, NAFC IRP coordinator.
If you are eligible (check requirements here), you are invited to join us for a webinar. The webinar will be hosted on April 22 at 2:00 p.m. EST and is an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the program.
- You can access the webinar through this link: https://zoom.us/j/95796490525
- Dial by location, find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abm8bEI1Ml
- Meeting ID: 957 9649 0525
The NAFC is one of five Readiness Support Partners mandated by the Government of Canada to deliver funding for the IRP. The IRP, through the five funding partners, will distribute $50 million to social purpose organizations (charities, non-profits, social enterprises, for-profits with a social purpose and co-operatives) to help build their capacity to participate in Canada’s growing social finance market. The IRP is also designed to help social purpose organizations (SPOs) prepare for the Government of Canada’s broader investment in social finance via the Social Finance Fund, a historic new $755 million commitment which was announced in November 2018 and is expected to be launched in 2020.
As a Readiness Support Partner, the NAFC is administering $1.12 million in funding from the Government of Canada that will be made available as non-repayable capital to FCs and PTAs.
NAFC is working closely with the other four national organizations delivering the Government of Canada’s IRP funding. FCs and PTAs may also eligible to receive support from the other funding partners. To learn more about other Readiness Support Partners’ funding programs, criteria, and application periods, please visit their websites:
1$ million contribution from Mastercard Foundation to help Friendship Centres serve urban Indigenous community
The National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) and the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre (MNFC) would like to acknowledge the generous contribution of $1 million from the Mastercard Foundation to support Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations (PTAs) across the country as they navigate the COVID-19 response.
“Friendship Centres have been on the front lines, doing the best they can, with limited resources to support urban Indigenous communities from the start of the pandemic and these funds will help them continue that work. We appreciate Mastercard Foundation’s recognition of our unique role in supporting the urban Indigenous community now, and are very grateful for their support,” says NAFC president Christopher Sheppard Buote.
The contribution is part of the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program announced earlier this month. The program aims to assist institutions and communities in Africa and within Indigenous communities in Canada to withstand and respond to the impacts of COVID-19, while strengthening their resilience.
“The financial support from the Mastercard Foundation will go a long way to ensure that we, at the MNFC, are meeting the needs of our community here in Halifax. We are happy to work in partnership with the NAFC to ensure this support reaches across the country,” says MNFC executive director Pam Glode Desrochers.
The Friendship Centre Movement employs over 3,600 people and serves over 1.7 million clients (Indigenous and non) annually. Friendship Centres provide essential services in urban areas (including health care, housing, justice and crisis support, daily meals, cultural programming, etc.) and during this pandemic, are picking up the slack as other local services close their doors; meaning their communities rely on them for consistent public health updates and support during this pandemic.
"There is no blueprint for navigating this crisis. However, the actions we take now will shape the post-COVID-19 world. This crisis is teaching us how interdependent we are as well as how powerful collective action can be,” says Reeta Roy, President and CEO, Mastercard Foundation.
Funding the work of the Friendship Centre Movement is important now, more than ever, so Friendship Centres can continue to support their communities when they need it most. The support from the Mastercard Foundation will help our Centres continue to carry out their essential work.
If you’re able to at this time, please consider donating to your local Friendship Centre.
- Urban Indigenous organizations need more COVID-19 funding says NAFC [Future of Good]
- 'Disrespectful': Urban Indigenous population feels short-changed by federal COVID-19 response [CBC]
- Grassroots organizations in Calgary come together to help most vulnerable [APTN]
- Indigenous friendship centres hit hard by skyrocketing requests for help, advocate says [CBC]
- Urban Indigenous left behind by Ottawa's COVID-19 response: friendship centres [Canadian Press]
- Editorial: a friend in need (Friendship Centres) [NNSL]
- Indigenous leaders say coronavirus crisis help is coming up short [Radio Canada International]
- Friendship Centre funding during the pandemic [NNSL]
- Volunteers aiming to make 30,000 cloth masks for Labrador [Chronicle Herald]
- Question in House of Commons regarding increasing funding to Friendship Centres [YouTube]
- Mark Miller responds: "they do amazing work with limited funds, critical for the most vulnerable, Indigenous communities, in urban settings. These supports are incredibly needed right now. We have received a submission from the NAFC, we know they do so much with so little, and we know that needs to be supported on a constant basis."
- NWT friendship centres soldier through crisis with lost funding [NNSL]
- Sunday Scrum: Convening Parliament during the COVID-19 pandemic [CBC]
- Tanya Talaga mentions work of Friendship Centres during Sunday Scrum
- Victoria Native Friendship Centre working flat out to support the community [CBC Radio]
- Friendship Centres struggling during pandemic [Brandon Sun]
- Offering essential services during COVID-19 keeps Cariboo Friendship Society busy [Williams Lake Tribune]
- Friendship centre finds new ways of supporting community despite lack of money from feds [APTN]
- Supporting Mental Health Ooknakane Friendship Centre Offering Youth Programming [Castanet]
- [Urban breakdown] Indigenous Winnipeggers deserve more funding Chiefs say [Winnipeg Free Press]
- The helpers: Saskatoon unites to feed urban Indigenous families [Saskatoon Star Phoenix]
- Impact of COVID-19 on urban FNs [AFN Podcast]
- [Start of funding with Urban] First Nations communities see increase in COVID-19 cases, minister says [Global News]
- Funding food hamper efforts [Brandon Sun]
- COVID-19 outbreaks in 23 First Nations prompting concerns [Canadian Press]
Do you have a program or story you would like to share on how your Friendship Centre is supporting your community during COVID-19? Please contact us!