NAmerind Friendship Centre
260 Colbourne Street
About the Centre
The N'Amerind Friendship Centre (NFC) is one of the "original six" Friendship Centres in Ontario, founded in 1965 and incorporated on April 20, 1967. NFC is also a founding member of the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC) which was incorporated in 1971. Its founding directors are: Irvin Chrisjohn, Stanley George French, Donald Lloyd Morris, Clifford Myles Playter, Arletta Silver, George Simons, Virginia Pearl Summers, Amelia Wehlau, and Lillian Wuttunee. It is through the support of the founding directors, volunteers and membership that N'Amerind is recognised as London Ontario's first urban Native organisation.
The operations of the NFC began several years prior to its incorporation and initially offered an opportunity for Aboriginal people to socialise and come together but, it quickly cultivated into social and recreational services, and educational and cultural activities.
NFC has been the founding organisation in providing support to London's Aboriginal community and played a founding role in developing other Aboriginal organisations including Nokee Kwe, Native Housing Co-ops (2), Southern Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre and Atenlos.
Due to the support provided by the Native community and co-operative working relationship with Native and non-Native organisations and agencies, NFC is well established within the London community and surrounding areas,
Since its operation the NFC has taken possession of their facilities and developed and implemented social, educational, and cultural and recreational services and programs.
Aims and Objectives
- To promote and preserve the culture, education general welfare, and well being Native people.
- To develop and deliver programs and projects aimed at satisfying the felt and expressed cultural, educational, economic, recreational and social needs of Native people.
- To develop Native leadership by providing guidance, support and encouragement to individuals.
- To increase the level of awareness of Native culture and heritage in society.
- To establish resources which Native people can use in the development of their own community programs.
- To be involved in areas that directly or indirectly affect Native people.
- To promote the special needs and goals of urban Native people.
The NFC is a non-profit organisation committed to the promotion of physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual well-being of Native people and, in particular, Urban Native People. The commitment is realised through the implementation of culturally relevant programs aimed at social, recreational and educational needs, at developing leadership, increasing awareness levels of Native heritage, establishing resources for community development, and in promoting the development of urban Aboriginal self-governing institutions.
Programs and Services
Akwe:go, Alcohol and Drug, Alternative Secondary School, Apatisiwin, Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program. Combined Courtwork, Community Action Program for Children, Community Justice, Community Wellness, Criminal Courtwork, Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth, Family Courtwork, Gladue, Healthy Babies Healthy Children, Life Long Care, Urban Aboriginal Healthy Living, Wasa-Nabin, and Community Liaison.
Though its programs and service N'Amerind operates the Dorothy Day Learning Centre and hosts many events and celebrations throughout the year (i.e. community picnics, holiday parties, traditional gathering and feasts, art festival, self defence and dance classes, and Oneida and Ojibway language classes). For more information please visit their website.