Urban Indigenous Action Plan (UIAP)

The Urban Indigenous Action Plan (UIAP) was developed to address the growing need for urban Indigenous community input in policy development in Ontario.

This plan will be a tool for all ministries across the Government of Ontario to incorporate Indigenous expertise and knowledge in public policy development. It sets a benchmark for how the public sector will work collaboratively with urban Indigenous communities and organizations. It also commits the Government of Ontario to respect existing protocols and urban Indigenous governance approaches.

Response to the National Housing Strategy

Submission on the Standardized Lease Template

Submission on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy

Basic income consultation report for the Ministry of Community and Social Services

Provincial Pre-Budget Submission 2017

Provincial Pre-Budget Submission 2017

Federal Pre-Budget Submission 2017

Federal Pre-Budget Submission 2017

OFIFC Response to MTO’s Northern Ontario Multimodal Transportation Strategy (February 2016)

The effects of inadequate transportation systems for northern communities are compounded by extreme weather and a lack of locally available services including health services, employment and affordable food and housing options. Without thoughtful local and regional public transportation, urban Aboriginal people will continue to be isolated from fully participating in their communities and accessing needed services.

Response to NOMTS Working Paper #3: Socio-economic Context (February 2016)

The effects of inadequate transportation systems for northern communities are compounded by extreme weather and a lack of locally available services including health services, employment and affordable food and housing options. Without thoughtful local and regional public transportation, urban Aboriginal people will continue to be isolated from fully participating in their communities and accessing needed services.

Response to NOMTS Working Paper #2: Climate Change Context (February 2016)

The effects of inadequate transportation systems for northern communities are compounded by extreme and changing weather systems and a lack of locally available services including health services, employment and affordable food and housing options. Without thoughtful local and regional public transportation, urban Aboriginal people will continue to be isolated from fully participating in their communities and accessing needed services.

Response to NOMTS Working Paper #1: Geographic and Political Context (February 2016)

The effects of inadequate transportation systems for northern communities are compounded by extreme weather and a lack of locally available services including health services, employment and affordable food and housing options. Without thoughtful local and regional public transportation, urban Aboriginal people will continue to be isolated from fully participating in their communities and accessing needed services.

Response to The Northern Ontario Context: Implications and Considerations for Strategy Development (Northern Ontario Multimodal Transportation Strategy) (June 2016)

The effects of inadequate transportation systems for northern communities are compounded by extreme weather and a lack of locally-available services, including health services, employment and affordable food and housing options. Without thoughtful local intra-community public transportation, urban Indigenous people will continue to be isolated from fully participating in their communities and accessing needed services.

Response to the Ministry of Transportation on Towards a Northern Ontario Multimodal Transportation Strategy – Discussion Paper (December 2016)

Over the past months, the OFIFC and Friendship Centres have provided high quality, detailed input into the development of the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) Northern Ontario Multimodal Transportation Strategy (NOMTS), with the goal of participating in the improvement of Northern Ontario’s transportation systems at the local and broader policy levels. Transportation is a central issue for urban Indigenous communities, which often face a range of barriers in accessing critical social, health, and education services, and participating in the economy.

Federal Poverty Reduction Submission (June 2017)

Friendship Centre communities have identified that prosperity exists when community members have access to resources and supports that are based on culturally-relevant and community-defined determinants of health. Self-determination must be a foundational aspect of the development of poverty reduction strategies that are aimed at meaningfully engaging and improving outcomes in Indigenous communities.

Response to Ontario’s Intercommunity Bus Modernisation Proposal (August 2016)

The need for the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to invest in adequate and accessible regional public transportation infrastructure is both immediate and essential. The OFIFC urges the MTO and partner ministries to consider the need for affordable transportation options that do not rely on private vehicles or expensive and diminishing private sector transportation.

Response to Moving Ontario Forward – Outside the GTHA (September 2015)

Prioritising Investments for Urban Aboriginal People and Communities

Submission to the Forum of Labour Market Ministers on the F-P/T Consultations on the Labour Market Transfer Agreements (August 2016)

As an important employment and training service delivery partner, the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) is pleased to share our feedback on the Forum of Labour Market Ministers’ (FLMM) June 2016 discussion paper on the future of labour market transfer agreements. Our submission is structured according to the nine specific questions within the three theme areas posed within the paper and our recommendations provide a roadmap for increased labour market participation for urban Indigenous people and better outcomes in our communities.

A Response to Women’s Economic Empowerment: A Call to Action for Ontario (August 2017)

Indigenous women in Ontario face disproportionately high levels of poverty, discrimination, and violence, which pose significant barriers to the achievement of improved outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. Poor access to social and health services, adequate transportation, and economic opportunity continue to compound the issues and threaten the well-being of Indigenous women and girls.

OFIFC’s Response to the Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel (March 2016)

The OFIFC believes that a key priority of the Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel (Expert Panel) should be closing the education and employment attainment gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Ontarians. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has also called on the federal government to develop a joint strategy with Indigenous groups to eliminate these gaps.9 To achieve this, a wholistic approach must be applied to the development of the Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy, whereby investments are made in all stages of the education to employment continuum.
Justice

Response to the Independent Police Oversight Review (November 2016)

Ultimately, the OFIFC recommends a radical reorientation of the way policing is overseen in the province that is fundamentally community-driven and proactive. The function of police oversight bodies’ accountability to the public must be strictly prioritized to ensure a deeply embedded connection with communities most egregiously affected by police. It is our hope that our written submission serves to supplement Indigenous-Ultimately, the OFIFC recommends a radical reorientation of the way policing is overseen in the province that is fundamentally community-driven and proactive.

Indigenous Housing Strategy Coordinated Vision Paper (November 2016)​

The concurrent development of the National Housing Strategy, the provincial Indigenous Housing Strategy, and the implementation/development of the provincial Long Term Affordable Housing Strategy (LTAHS) requires a coordinated response from Indigenous Provincial Territorial Organizations to ensure the best housing and health related outcomes for urban Indigenous people.

Response to the Ministry of Housing Transitional Housing Consultations (October 2016)

Indigenous people are a protected group under the Ontario Human Right Charter (OHRC) who are over-represented in the urban homeless population and face specific barriers in accessing safe, permanent, affordable, and supportive housing. Transitional housing is a vital part of the housing continuum that prevents homelessness and/or bridges homelessness and permanent housing for community members who require integrated supports when recovering from homelessness, fleeing violence, or leaving institutionalized environments such as foster care and corrections facilities.

Response to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation on the National Housing Strategy Consultations (November 2016)

Urban Indigenous housing in Ontario is uniquely situated in the Canadian housing landscape. Specific investments in affordable housing development and repair have yielded a valuable housing stock portfolio that supports 600,000 low and moderate-income households held by the Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services Corporation (OAHS). Friendship Centres can attest that this vital infrastructure supports the health, wellbeing, and stability of Indigenous communities across the province.

Response to the Ministry of Housing on Potential Amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act (February 2016)

That the Ministry of Housing:
  • Withdraw its proposal to allow landlords to terminate a tenancy based on violation of a no-smoking provision in tenancy agreements;
  • Allow rent to be waived in situations where a tenant has requested a lease which is not produced within one month; and,
  • Include Indigenous organisations at the outset regarding technical consultations on the RTA.
Health

Submission to the Assembly of First Nations and First Nations and Inuit Health Branch Regarding Non-Insured Health Benefits’ Medical Transportation Benefit (October 2016)

The policies, procedures, and management of the NIHB program are obstructing urban First Nations and Inuit’s access to health services as well as impairing their health outcomes. While the program is intended to bridge the gaps between health services and achieve health equity by providing additional coverage for First Nations and Inuit, the manner in which it is being administered creates additional barriers to health care by increasing the burden of bureaucracy for clients and creating a second tier health service system based on income and race.
Health

Discussion Paper on Food Security & the Friendship Centres (2016)

The purpose of this paper is to review contemporary food security issues as experienced in Friendship Centre communities across Ontario. This paper will identify the issue of food security as it applies to Indigenous people, determine its prevalence among urban Indigenous individuals, families, and communities, review the experiences of Ontario Friendship Centres with food security, and discuss interventions to decrease Indigenous food insecurity and its impacts.
Health

A Report on Home and Community Care in Ontario – an Urban Indigenous Population Report (2016)

This document is a submission of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) stating the position of our organisation with respect to the needs of urban Indigenous seniors regarding health system access and home and community care, including the administration model of Community Care Access Centres (CCAC). Our collaboration flows directly from our work together on the Urban Indigenous Health Table (UIHT).
Health

A Response to the Proposed Goals Under the Local Food Act, 2013 (2015)

The OFIFC is recommending that the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs consider and incorporate the issues of traditional foods and food security when developing goals aimed at increasing access to local foods under the Local Food Act that attest to the experiences of urban Indigenous people in Ontario.
Health

A Response to “Developing Ontario’s Dementia Strategy: A Discussion Paper” (March 2017)

This document is a submission of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s, “Discussing Ontario’s Dementia Strategy: A Discussion Paper”. Developing a dementia strategy is part of the Province of Ontario’s plan to enhance health, home and community care and delivery through Patients First: Action Plan for Health and Patients First: Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care.
Ending Violence

A Response to Bill 96, the Anti-Human Trafficking Act, 2017 (2017)

This document is a submission of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres to the Standing Committee on Social Policy regarding Bill 96, An Act to enact the Human Trafficking Awareness Day Act, 2017 and the Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking Act, 2017 (The Act). This response considers the proposed legislation, making recommendations on needed revisions and to highlight issues within the proposed legislation.
Children and Youth

Response to the Development of an Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework (2017)

The Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework (IELCCF) and federal investments in off-reserve Indigenous child care can play a critical role in improving the well-being of urban Indigenous communities. However, unless the IELCCF is grounded in the expertise of urban Indigenous communities and organisations, it will be stalled in fully reaching its potential. An effective IELCCF will be modelled on the principle of Indigenous control and will invest in building capacity in urban Indigenous communities.
Health

Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks: A Call for Change in Working with the Urban Indigenous Community

Since 2006 and the creation of the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), the LHINs have failed in addressing the health service needs of the urban Indigenous population, who continue to face systemic barriers to health care. Efforts on the part of Friendship Centres and the OFIFC to support the LHINs to address and revise their approaches to urban Indigenous health care been unsuccessful.
Health

Access to Health Services in Ontario for the Urban Indigenous Population

This report examines the challenges to accessing Ontario’s health services as experienced by the urban Indigenous community. The report draws upon a number of sources, primarily through the Friendship Centres across Ontario, members of the urban Indigenous community, and those working to support the Friendship Centre Movement as allies.
Health

Mental Health and Addictions Strategy Phase II Engagement: Final Report on Key Themes 2 & 3 Moving Forward & Shared Outcomes

This report is the second provided by the OFIFC for informing the process of ongoing design and implementation of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Open Minds, Healthy Minds Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. Currently in the strategy’s second phase, the Ministry scope has expanded to focus on adults, transitional aged youth, addictions, transitions, funding reform, and performance measurement across the system.
Health

Joint Report on Traditional Health and Healing for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

This report has been developed as a joint effort between the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Cetnres and the Ontario Native Women's Association.

The report contains an examination of the gaps, barriers, and needs associated with access to traditional health and healing services and supports for urban Indigenous communities and provides recommendations for improvements.

USAI Research Framework 2012

The USAI Research Framework has been conceived and developed by the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) in 2012 to guide all Aboriginal research projects conducted by the OFIFC and the urban
Aboriginal communities, in which the OFIFC is involved.
Education to Employment

Social Economy Framework for Ontario’s Urban Aboriginal Communities

Social economy as a term may be relatively new to some Friendship Centre communities; however, Ontario’s Friendship Centres and the broader Friendship Centre Movement have been operating within the social economy for decades.  

As it pertains to Friendship Centres, the current economic system consists of the public sector, the private sector, and the non-profit sector. The social economy fits within the non-profit sector, with some overlap with the private sector.
Children and Youth
Family
Health

Our Framework - Ontario Urban and Rural First Nations, Metis and Inuit Housing Policy

Strangers in Our Own Land - 1978

Strangers in Our Own land

 

In 1978, the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres prepared a discussion paper aptly entitled,  "Strangers in Our Own Land”.   The paper begins to address problems affecting "urban and migrating Native people" in Ontario and was presented to the Honourable Robert Welch, QC, Ontario Minister of Culture.

 

 

Reinforcing the Sweetgrass Road

Reinforcing the Sweetgrass Road

U-ACT Interim Report

The Urban Aboriginal Task Force (Phase II): Urban-Aboriginal Communities Thrive (U-ACT), action research project driven by urban Aboriginal communities and Friendship Centres in North Bay, Sault Ste Marie and Timmins, has completed year one of a two year community-driven initiative. This Interim Report, U-ACT: The Road Forward, provides a summary and analysis of research findings, which have emerged thus far.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: A Position Paper

This position paper provides a detailed definition of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and dissects the stigma of FASD between Aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities and cultures, suggesting that FASD is a product of socio-economic status rather than race or culture. The paper recommends that a culturally-appropriate strategy to address FASD must be implemented in Ontario.  

Aboriginal Approaches: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

This is a one-time special report, published in the fall of 2002, as a way of documenting and celebrating some of the good work that is being done around FASD in communities. The primary purpose of the report was to explore how Aboriginal cultures and practices help with the development and day to day lives of our community members living with FASD. This theme runs throughout all of the articles and demonstrates the unique way in which Aboriginal people promote wellness for everyone in the community.

Embracing Good Mind: Final Report on Mental Health

This is a final report on a community-driven mental health and addictions research project in March 2013.  Through a community-driven research process, gaps and barriers, best practices and recommendations for Aboriginal mental health services were explored.  The report identifies how Friendship Centre communities can improve urban Aboriginal mental health services.

Gladue Rights: A Call for Recommitment and Accountability

This position paper examines the current processes of Gladue, its current barriers and provides recommendations for the application of Gladue principles at every stage of the justice system specifically pertaining to; Differing Notions of Justice, Inconsistent Gladue Services, Absence of Alternatives to Custody, Lack of Preventative Programming, and the Current Political Climate.  Furthermore, the publication exposes the systematic barriers contributing to the current patchwork of underfunded programming and practices that are in place nationwide, and provides specif

Children and Youth

Children and Youth

The OFIFC has participated in public policy dialogue regarding children and youth issues and related policy discussions for over thirty years. We unequivocally believe that culture-based approaches are essential in addressing the multiple and complex challenges faced by all Aboriginal children and youth and we will continue to support Friendship Centres through developmental programs that promote education and children's and youth initiatives.

Urban Aboriginal Task Force: Barrie/Midland/Orillia Final Report

This report is a final overview of a project completed in 2007, as a major research initiative in which the OFIFC, along with other Aboriginal organizations and provincial and federal partnerships, conducted community-based research within the urban settings of Barrie, Midland, and Orillia.  The report is intended to provide support for the development of a strategic approach to resource allocations to address the needs of urban Aboriginal people, as well as to be used as a tool for communities, government and other agencies to advance a renewed policy agenda.  The report sheds n

OFIFC Submission to The Commission For The Review Of Social Assistance In Ontario ‐ 2011

OFIFC Staff attended, with local Friendship Centres, seven of the ten Commission Lead Consultations in the communities of Windsor, London, Hamilton, Peterborough, Thunder Bay, Timmins and Ottawa. Possibly because the greatest percentage of social assistance recipients resided in the GTA and southern regions, the north was largely unrepresented in the Commission lead consultations.

Urban Aboriginal Task Force: Kenora Final Report

This report is a final overview of a project completed in 2007, as a major research initiative in which the OFIFC, along with other Aboriginal organizations and provincial and federal partnerships, conducted community-based research within the urban setting of Kenora.

Education to Employment

Urban Aboriginal Task Force: Ontario Final Report

The Urban Aboriginal Task Force (UATF) was completed in 2007 as a major research initiative in which the OFIFC, along with other Aboriginal organizations and provincial and federal partnerships, conducted community-based research within the urban setting of Ontario.  Much of the data gathered from the UATF study came directly from local community Friendship Centres.  The goal of the study was to identify the needs and gaps in existing services and supports for urban Aboriginal people in Ontario, in order to develop a strategic process guiding appropriate and sufficient resource a

Education to Employment

Urban Aboriginal Task Force: Ottawa Final Report

This report is a final overview of a project completed in 2007, as a major research initiative in which the OFIFC, along with other Aboriginal organizations and provincial and federal partnerships, conducted community-based research within the urban setting of Ottawa.

Ontario Budget Submission

The OFIFC Ontario Pre-Budget Submission highlights Friendship Centre community needs in strategic areas, some of which were identified in the 2013 Throne Speech. Recommendations are identified at the end of the document.  Areas of discussion include Education, Children and Youth, Health and Mental Health, Homelessness and Housing, and Justice.   Critical investments in the Alternative Secondary School Program, the Akwe;go: Urban Aboriginal Children’s Program and Kizhaay Anishnaabe Niin (I Am a Kind Man) Initiative are identified.

Aboriginal Youth Leadership Toolkit

This toolkit assists Aboriginal youth to explore the issues they face in today’s world.  From May 2011 to March 2012, the Aboriginal Youth Leadership Project engaged 26 Aboriginal Youth Leaders from ten Friendship Centres throughout Ontario in activities related to addressing youth mental health and addictions. Cultural Teachings on Life Cycle Responsibilities were explored to frame discussions and begin to address issues facing urban Aboriginal youth alongside Medicine Wheel Teachings.  

FASD Toolkit for Aboriginal Families

This toolkit was prepared as a “user-friendly” resource to help front-line workers working with children, youth, adults and families affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.  It uses a Medicine Wheel to help front-line community workers explore issues, and find and apply appropriate tools and support, to address FASD at the community level.  

Streetwolf: Seven Principles of Self-Leadership

Streetwolf is a program exploring issues that are faced by Aboriginal youth and assists them with understanding the realities and consequences of negative choices.  It is a workbook that is intended to increase the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and values of Aboriginal youth in making positive choices for every day good living.

Urban Aboriginal Task Force: Sudbury Final Report

This report is a final overview of a project completed in 2007, as a major research initiative in which the OFIFC, along with other Aboriginal organizations and provincial and federal partnerships, conducted community-based research within the urban setting of Sudbury.

OFIFC’s Research Presentation Protocol

Based on the USAI Research Framework (Utility, Self-Voicing, Access, and Inter-relationality), this document delineates an appropriate internal protocol to be followed by anybody involved in USAI/OFIFC’s research activities, who presents, discusses, or shares any USAI-driven research with a wider public, including academic and educational presentations, peer and/or expert fora, conferences, summits, posters, discussion papers, journal articles, etc.

Aboriginal Sexual Violence Action Plan

The Aboriginal Sexual Violence Action Plan is a strategy for ending sexual violence in Aboriginal (urban, rural, and reserve) communities. The action plan is an integrated component of the Strategic Framework to End Violence Against Aboriginal Women, in order to coordinate a wholistic community-based strategy that addresses the urgent need for immediate action while also laying the foundation for long-term healing and recovery.  

A Strategic Framework to End Violence Against Aboriginal Women

Prepared by the Ontario Native Woman’s Association (ONWA) and the OFIFC, the Strategic Framework to End Violence Against Aboriginal Women is based on a number of foundational principles and addresses eight specific areas for change: research, legislation, policy, programs, education, community development, leadership, and accountability.  The framework is based on a medicine wheel design, to provide a continuum of approaches, and recommends strategies at multiple levels on how to successfully deal with violence.  It is stated that if there is adherence to the broad recommendation

Identifying Our Potential: Urban Aboriginal Labour Force and Training Strategic Framework

The purpose of the strategic framework is to support the development of a qualified urban Aboriginal labour force in order to:  prepare for and anticipate Ontario labour market trends; facilitate enhanced urban Aboriginal contributions to Ontario’s labour market; and ensure equitable access to employment and training for urban Aboriginal people.

Good Mind: OFIFC Mental Health Strategy

The OFIFC Mental Health Strategy is a tool that will assist in directing policy, programming and training, focusing on Aboriginal mental health and well-being.  The publication is grounded in an Aboriginal worldview and based on wholism to address the contributing emotional, spiritual, physical, and cultural aspects of mental health throughout the life stages.  The publication identifies current gaps and barriers within the current healthcare system for Aboriginal mental health, and addresses what the strategic goals are for programs, services and accessibility.

The Joint Work Group Progress Report: Ending Violence Against Aboriginal Women

The purpose of this report is to provide Ministers and Leaders with an update on the activities of the Joint Working Group since it first met in 2010. In recognition of the stark rates at which Aboriginal women and girls experience violence, the Joint Working Group was established to identify priorities and policies, programs, and services that prevent and reduce violence against First Nations, Métis and Inuit women and their families.

USAI Research Framework: Utility Self-voicing Access Inter-Relationality

This document has been developed as a guide to OFIFC research principles and ethical considerations, to rules of research conduct and the goals of research endeavours.  USAI research is envisioned as a culturally-appropriate, methodical and practical inquiry in the service of urban Aboriginal communities, conducted by those very communities so that they can nurture their capacity to self-actualize and realize only those futures that they themselves conceive.  The rules of research conduct prescribe how community-driven projects are to be developed and frame how we work with our a

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