OTTAWA, Dec. 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) is proud to host its inaugural Friendship in Motion: Urban Indigenous Summit in Gatineau, Quebec. NAFC member Friendship Centres, funding partners, and project partners are gathering over the next 3 days from every region in Canada to discuss capacity building, action planning, and knowledge exchange on a wide range of topics relating to Indigenous people and urban realities, including Housing, Homelessness and Social Infrastructure, Anti-Racism in Healthcare, Access to Justice, Children and Youth Programming, and Social Economy.
Approximately 60-80% of the Indigenous population in Canada lives in urban communities and rely on Friendship Centres and other urban Indigenous organizations. For 70 years, Friendship Centres have been serving urban Indigenous peoples, and for 50 years the NAFC has been a central, unifying body for the Friendship Centre Movement, promoting and advocating the concerns of our Member Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations, and we no longer intend to be the best kept secret in Canada.
"Our hope is that over the next several days that our members will take this opportunity to meet each other, both for those working and volunteering within the Friendship Centre Movement as well as our partners, to share information, exchange knowledge, build capacity, and participate in action planning on matters that are relevant to Indigenous Peoples." ? Kelly Benning, NAFC President
"Urban voices are often left out of national Indigenous conversations, so we have created a space for ourselves to advance these issues. This summit demonstrates the incredible breadth and depth of work of Friendship Centres. Our work touches on 47 of the 94 TRC Calls to action and we want to make it clear that Reconciliation will not occur without a comprehensive urban Indigenous strategy."- Jocelyn Formsma, NAFC Chief Executive Officer
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The NAFC represents over 100 local Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations in every province and territory in Canada (except Prince Edward Island). Friendship Centres are urban Indigenous community hubs that provide a wide range of programs and services for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people living in urban, rural, and northern communities. Collectively, Friendship Centres are the largest and most comprehensive urban Indigenous service delivery network in Canada.