Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) has committed $6.3 million over three years to fund 28 friendship centres and two satellite sites with cultural resource coordinators. They will provide culture and culture-based program and service delivery to improve identity and foster healthy relationships for urban Indigenous children, youth and families.
A dedicated Cultural Resource Coordinator within friendship centres will begin to fill a cultural gap and provide regular assistance for urban Indigenous children, youth and families involved in programming, who often go without consistent access to resource people and Elders, reads a press statement from OFIFC. The position will offer counselling, support, teaching and ceremonies, and preventative services. It will provide activities that will foster a strong sense of well-being and positive Indigenous identity.
Children and youth who are grounded in culture and who have positive associations with Indigenous identity are far more likely to transition into adulthood confident, capable and prepared. Connectedness to culture for children and youth is a critical aspect of development and holistic well-being.
This initiative is part of the Walking Together—Ontario’s Long Term Strategy to End Violence Against Indigenous Women.