CanAm Indian Friendship Centre of Windsor
2929 Howard Ave
About the Centre
The Can-Am Indian Friendship Centre (CAIFC) of Windsor was incorporated on June 8, 1981 and became a member of the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC) in October 1981. Its founding members are: Maryrose Barefoot Jones, Max Joseph Hedley, Abraham Tanian Pone, Candace Elaine Moore, Peter Nahwegahbo, Peter Evans Wickerson, Donna Florence Loyal, Sharon Ann John, and Kathleen Anne McCloskey.
The CAIFC is driven by the desire for Aboriginal peoples within the areas of Windsor and Essex County to become a self-sufficient, self-determining, self-governing community. Historically, the CAIFC has been the focal point for Aboriginal peoples within the urban environment.
The decade of the 1980's saw moderate growth of the organisation as the community sought increased programming for their children, adult basic literacy, social counselling, and community development activities. Relationships were being initiated between the Aboriginal community and the greater Windsor community. The Friendship Centre was at the forefront of educating the city of Windsor on the rights of peoples of all races through its annual race relations conferences.
The present decade has represented a fundamental shift in the attitudes of the community and centre towards their place within society. The cultural and spiritual renewal of Aboriginal peoples has contributed to the development of a strong community seeking independence. Independence, in this sense, is constituted of a desire to have control over their future and that of the generations of Aboriginal peoples to come. It is a desire to avert past paternalistic and genocidal relationships which have characterized past interaction with the various levels of government.
Over time, the CAIFC has sought: To remain a community, grassroots driven organisation; To improve the quality of life of community members; To develop programs and services that meet community identified needs; To incorporate Aboriginal traditions and beliefs into Centre programming; To advocate on behalf of Aboriginal people within Windsor; To remain committed to a Code of Ethics that sees all individuals as equals.
Looking towards the future, several issues are of priority to the Centre: The establishment of a facility that will meet the long-term needs of the Aboriginal community; The identification and establishment of governmental/non-governmental revenue sources to meet the growing program needs of the Aboriginal community; Specific programs and services targeting youth and elders; The establishment of proactive programming that promotes the establishment of a healthy Aboriginal community; A commitment to continued and increased community input into the Friendship Centre and future program developments; The utilisation of a holistic, integrated approach to Centre programs and services; The development of a long-term strategic plan to guide the development of the Centre; and The fostering of relationships with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organisations, based upon the concepts of mutual benefit and respect. At the present the Friendship Centre develops a multitude of programs and services that encompass the cultural, economic, social, and political objectives of the Aboriginal community.
Aims, Objectives & Mission
- To provide an Aboriginal cultural community development Centre providing integrated support service to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people of Windsor/Essex County.
- To preserve, enhance, and promote Aboriginal cultural retention and positive self-identity within the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community.
- To provide a community development Centre that strives to achieve unity within the community and promotes concepts of self-help leading to a strong, independent and self-sufficient community.
- To provide integration support service to both assist people in adjusting to an urban lifestyle and to assist people in taking advantage of opportunities that will increase their socio-economic status within the broader community.
- The Corporation shall be carried on without the purpose of personal gain for its members and any profits or other accretions to the Corporation will be used in promoting its objectives.
CAIFC of Windsor strives to improve the quality of life of the Windsor Aboriginal community through the provision of culturally-appropriate programs and services in the areas of health, education, counselling and services for the elderly. The Centre strives to deliver the best possible service in accordance with traditional, spiritual and contemporary teachings. The Centre will promote Aboriginal unity and cultural identity through social events which respect and honour all of the diverse beliefs of our people. Thus, the Centre will help to ease the transition of Aboriginal people from living in on-reserve surroundings to urban areas.
Programs and Services
Akwe:go, Alcohol and Drug, Apatisiwin, Community Wellness, Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth, Health Outreach, Healthy Babies Healthy Children, Life Long Care, Wasa-Nabin, and, Urban Aboriginal Healthy Living.