Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre to receive $5M investment from the Government of Canada for new facility and program delivery
Halifax Regional Municipality, Traditional Unceded Mi’kmaw Territory, Nova Scotia — Indigenous Services Canada
Indigenous Peoples living in, or transitioning to, urban centres are one of the fastest-growing populations in Canada.
The Government of Canada is committed to working with Indigenous partners to improve the quality of life of First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and ensure that urban Indigenous Peoples have safe and accessible spaces to access the delivery of high-quality, culturally relevant services.
The Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre has been providing essential programs and services to Indigenous Peoples in downtown Halifax since 1972. Currently, there are over 55 programs that are housed within the Centre, ranging from early childhood education, training, employment, housing and homelessness, and justice to harm reduction and supports for culture and language. To adequately serve the growing urban Indigenous population, the Centre has had to relocate three times since its opening. Its current facility is now facing significant limitations in serving a growing and diverse urban Indigenous clientele.
Today, Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of Patty Hajdu, the Federal Minister of Indigenous Services; and the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), announced $4.91M in joint federal funding for the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre.
This funding includes:
- $4 million from Indigenous Services Canada, through the Major Infrastructure funding stream of the Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples (UPIP) program, to contribute to the design and construction of a new facility strategically designed to serve and support more than 7,000 urban Indigenous clients living in the Halifax Regional Municipality; and
- $910,000 non-repayable from ACOA’s Jobs and Growth Fund to help the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Society realize the vision outlined in Every One Every Day (EOED) Kjipuktuk-Halifax. EOED focuses on increasing social and economic opportunities for Indigenous entrepreneurs through reconciliation using an Indigenous cultural approach to lead inclusivity and relationship building, peer mentorship, and support. Over the next three years, the project will support initiatives including storefronts, maker spaces, pop-up sites, a newspaper and a marketing strategy.
This investment highlights the Government of Canada’s commitment to responding to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Calls for Justice to restore and revitalize Indigenous cultures and languages. It also responds to priorities identified within the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan—Urban Path to Reclaiming Power and Place, Regardless of Residency regarding culture-based programs and supporting urban populations’ access to resources.