Project details for Round 1 recipients

Below are the project details for the Round 1 recipients of the Investment Readiness Program:

Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association
Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society
First Light St. John's Friendship Centre
Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre Association
Lillooet Friendship Centre Society
Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre
Regroupement des centres d'amitié autochtones du Québec
Victoria Native Friendship Centre
Wachiay Friendship Centre Society


Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association

Project name: Social Enterprise Collaborative Development
Category: Explore
Details: The Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association and three or four Alberta Friendship Centres will investigate a suitable candidate social enterprise project. The outcome would be to identify a social enterprise project that would create the desired benefits among the participating Friendship Centres. In addition, it would map out the resources each Friendship Centre could contribute to the desired project and any past experiences that could collectively be shared in moving forward.

Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society

Project name: Indigenous Culinary Arts Program Development
Category: Explore
Details: The Dze L K'ant Friendship Center Society plans to retain a local consultant to perform a feasibility analysis and to create a business model for a commercial community kitchen at their hall, and to roll out an Indigenous Culinary Arts Program and associated catering business.

First Light St. John's Friendship Centre

Project name: First Light Boutique Inn
Category: Large Scale
Details: The First Light Boutique Inn will be a revenue generating enterprise, which compliments existing services offered by the organization. The organization currently offers several medical services to Indigenous guests who travel to the capital city for essential health needs. This inn will fill a gap that currently exists for guests who require long term accommodation with an understanding of the unique cultural needs and wants of this clientele.

Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre Association

Project name: Indigenous Spirit Creations
Category: Large Scale
Details: In order to continue to meet the increasing demand for Indigenous cultural experiences, the Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre Association has located a potential site for an Indigenous cultural tourism centre. The prospective site includes a large facility, surrounded on three sides by the Lac La Biche Lake and includes a gymnasium, open space for campground development, and seven single dwellings, capable of generating rental revenue.

Our Association would like to acquire a full and complete business plan of the site for the purposes of expanding the already marketable Indigenous tourism cultural experiences established through Indigenous Spirit Creations. Our vision is that this new tourism centre will be northern Alberta’s primary Indigenous cultural experience. By completing a viable business plan, the Indigenous Spirit Creations project will amplify and strengthen existing partnerships within our community as we work together to create this unique Indigenous tourism experience.

Lillooet Friendship Centre Society

Project name: Realizing Self-sufficiency through Social Enterprise
Category: Explore
Details: The cultural centre will offer an art gallery, museum, tea house and commissary kitchen that will bring Indigenous communities, historians, curators, artists, wild crafters, crafters, storytellers and knowledge keepers together under one roof. Together, we will preserve our history, highlight and celebrate the present, and preserve our culture, traditional practices and stories for future generations to come.

This cultural centre will be rich in Indigenous culture and traditions and provide Urban Indigenous artisans and wild crafters with the exposure they require to become recognized artists and successful entrepreneurs. It will also provide the Friendship Centre with a mechanism to create a social-for-profit enterprise, while also generating revenue. It will offer a centrally located cultural venue that will provide opportunities for Urban Indigenous artisans and entrepreneurs to celebrate their work and talent through different forms of artistic expression.

Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre

Project name: Commercial Kitchen Relocation
Category: Large Scale
Details: The Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre is seeking to secure the additional funding required for us to relocate and expand our commercial kitchen. This will allow us to enhance and expand our catering services, as well as open a small restaurant that will serve our most famous meals.

Regroupement des centres d'amitié autochtones du Québec

Project name: Boutique web du Mouvement des Centres d’amitié du Québec
Category: Explore
Details: The objective of the project will be to create a web platform on which the Native Friendship Centers of Quebec can sell crafts produced by their members. Some Friendship Centers already offer this service to their members, however with a web platform would allow them to reach a wider audience. The financial precariousness of Aboriginal people in urban areas has been proven time and time again and craftsmanship is often a culturally relevant means of mitigating the harmful effects of this precariousness.

Victoria Native Friendship Centre

Project name: Purchase of two existing Indigenous arts and craft retail operations
Category: Explore
Details: We are seeking to determine the feasibility and level of community support to acquire two existing Indigenous arts retail stores located in Victoria, British Columbia. This project creates an opportunity for our Friendship Centre to address the social and cultural inequalities in business opportunities for Indigenous people as the market does not currently include any Indigenous owners. Our centre aims to change this by providing employment, training opportunities, and a fair-trade outlet for Indigenous arts and crafts.

Wachiay Friendship Centre Society

Project name: Wachiay Studio Equipment Upgrade
Category: Large Scale
Details: Wachiay Studio Inc. is a social enterprise owned and operated by Wachiay Friendship Centre Society. The Studio came into existence as a result of our evening art classes, which attracted increasing numbers of Indigenous youth, adults and Elders over the years. Our classes include screen printing, art skills development, cultural knowledge, and entrepreneurial training. Participants created One Tribe – a cooperative that promotes a social economy with benefits accruing to our 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 Aboriginal artists, Aboriginal schools and community members and groups. We are capable of printing art on textiles, paper, wood, plastic, glass, metal and more. Our upgrade project involves the purchase of new machinery to replace out-dated equipment that is expensive to maintain. This equipment will accommodate increased capacity and enable further opportunities for community and artist growth.