Background of the organization

For over 50 years, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre (VNFC) has promoted the wellbeing of Indigenous peoples living on or off reserve in British Columbia. The VNFC’s 130 staff work with 150 community partners including 14 First Nation Reserves. It provides a full spectrum of services: daycare, Elders support, language revitalization, youth drop-in, mental health and addiction services, and a nightly shelter.

VNCF’s mission is “to encourage and promote the well-being of Urban Aboriginal People, by strengthening individuals, family, and community.” 

The Friendship Centre opened its doors in April, 1970. It has become a vital resource for urban Indigenous individuals and families, and is strategically positioned to play a major role in the development and implementation of urban Indigenous governance on southern Vancouver Island.

Project description

The Reconciliation Learning Project seeks to provide accessible, community-based, Indigenous-led cultural safety training, in support of the TRC Calls to Action, and the desire to move reconciliation forward for all citizens. This funding will support completion of phase 1 (curriculum design and development) and phase 2 (piloting and finalization) of the Cultural Safety Program, including piloting the program with three to five pilot groups (staff, citizens, young adults). The training will onboard both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people into the difficult spaces of reconciliation dialogue and provide them with the necessary skills to enable successful volunteerism in the complex urban Indigenous environment.

Results of this work will be distributed through the network of the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC).