Thunderbird Friendship Centre
P.O. Box 430
301 Beamish Ave. West
About the Centre
The Thunderbird Friendship Centre was incorporated on November 29, 1971 and became a member of the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC) on October 19, 1990.
In 1967, a group of inspired individuals gathered for the purpose of providing a meeting place for Indian people of the Geraldton area. Their aspirations received notable encouragement. The group received the first cash donation from an anonymous donor. A building, which at one time or another was a High School, Separate School, Knights of Columbus Hall and Department of Lands and Forest Facility became available for $4,200 or could be rented to the group for $70.00 a month. They purchased it and continued fundraising. Their priority was to sponsor a youth program. The Thunderbird Friendship Centre of Geraldton was established in 1968 and incorporated in 1971.
The Centre is open on a drop-in basis and offers social, recreational, educational and cultural programs for all ages. As the years passed, the programs available at the Centre multiplied. The Thunderbird Friendship Centre very quickly outgrew the facility and began to plan for a new building. Thanks to the OFIFC, the first phase of the project began in October 1991 with the construction of a foundation and outer shell. The Department of Canadian Heritage provided the opportunity for phase two of the project and occupancy was taken of the main floor only. Unfortunately, it was at this point that the project was at a standstill until the Thunderbird Friendship Centre received the nicest Christmas present imaginable. Jobs Ontario approved funding for the completion of the Centre's new building. The Grand Opening was held on October 19, 1993. The Grand Opening was a very well attended, joyous and memorable occasion! The hard work, dedication and perseverance of many was rewarded with a beautiful meeting place that everyone is very proud of. The new Thunderbird Friendship Centre is wheelchair accessible and offers additional space to carryout cultural, recreational and social activities in a comfortable environment while maintaining confidentiality and privacy for its members, clients and the community.
The Thunderbird Friendship Centre is a community driven organisation that is managed by an elected Board of Directors at an Annual General Meeting. The Centre maintains an open annual membership at the cost of $1.00.
Aims and Objectives
- To provide a medium for the meeting of Indian & Non-Indian people & the development of mutual understanding through common activities;
- To stimulate & assist Indian self-expression & the development of Indian leadership;
- To assist && encourage the study of Indian needs & the planning of services with Indian people for both public & private agencies;
- To insure that the Centre is & remains a non-sectarian, non-profit organisation; and
- To encourage non-native residents to work with the native people to focus on locally identified native issues & concerns so as to seek out solutions to such concerns.
Programs and Services
Akwe:go, Apatisiwin, Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program, Community Action Program for Children, Community Career Development, Community Justice, Community Wellness, Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth, Criminal Courtwork, and Health Outreach, Life Long Care, Urban Aboriginal Healthy Living, and Wasa-Nabin.
Other services and sub-programs are also provided but the current building has exceeded its maximum capacity and some programs are being operated out of two satellite offices. The Centre is presently looking for additional funding sources to expand in an effort to house all programs and staff members in one location.