What Friendship Centres do
The Friendship Centre Movement (FCM) is the country’s most significant urban Indigenous service delivery infrastructure. Friendship Centres are not-for-profit and charity corporations that are mandated to serve the needs of urban Indigenous people by providing culturally appropriate services in urban communities. Friendship Centres are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors consisting of elected members. They are membership driven organizations in urban communities that serve all urban Indigenous people, regardless of status.
Every Friendship Centre is managed independently from the OFIFC and offers supportive programs and services that are needed in their community, as well as providing a place of acceptance and well-being for Indigenous peoples. As every Friendship Centre is located in a different geographical location, the needs of each community differ as well. The dynamic staff and volunteers from each Friendship Centre provide up to as many as 20+ programs for urban Indigenous people, with services covering the full spectrum of the life cycle.
How to become a Friendship Centre
OFIFC provides support to urban Indigenous organizations who are interested in seeking Friendship Centre status. The following are mandatory requirements to obtain OFIFC membership and Friendship Centre status:
- Must be located in an urban centre with a minimum population of 500 urban Indigenous people
- Have a mandate to serve all urban Indigenous people regardless of status (Status, Non-status, Métis, Inuit)
- Have been incorporated for at least 12 months
- Must be sponsored by the nearest Friendship Centre by way of a letter of support
- Must adopt OFIFC’s Code of Ethics
- Must pay membership fees to OFIFC
Funding is not immediately available for urban Indigenous organizations seeking Friendship Centre status. Funding is limited to specific provincial allocations, which are currently dispersed among existing Friendship Centres. At this time, funds will only become available should there be an increase in federal funding or if an existing Friendship Centre closes, allowing for the re-allocation of existing funds.
Friendship Centres are not-for-profit and charity corporations that are mandated to serve the needs of urban Indigenous people by providing culturally appropriate services in urban communities.