History of the OFIFC

In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Indigenous community centres in Ontario were established in Kenora, Thunder Bay and Toronto.  Shortly thereafter, London, Parry Sound and Red Lake followed suit, opening up community centres to serve the growing Indigenous population. The main goal of each of these centres was to provide and identify resources in response to the needs for food, shelter and clothing of Indigenous people migrating to these cities and towns.  These emerging centres were instrumental in the establishment of Friendship Centres in Ontario and are referred to as the “Original Six”.

1968
  • The concept of an Association of Friendship Centres was introduced at an annual meeting of centres in Saskatoon
1970
  • The Canadian Council on Social Development published a paper entitled “People on the Move” and for the first time, it was recognized that there was a regular and predictable migration of Indigenous people from reserves and isolated rural communities into cities and towns in Canada
1971
  • The National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) formed in at the 9th Annual Friendship Centre Conference in Edmonton
  • The OFIFC was officially formed in July and had an established 5-person, Board of Directors
1972
  • The Migrating Native Peoples Program was formed and the basic or core funding to Friendship Centres was developed. 
  • The second Migrating Native Peoples Program came into effect
  • OFIFC’s Board of Directors expanded to 16 people
  • A new OFIFC Constitution was developed
1980
  • Training became the focus of OFIFC’s work
Present Day
  • There are 29 Friendship Centres and 20 non-Friendship Centre Delivery Sites in Ontario

 

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