Over the years, the ANFCA has been part of many successful initiatives in a variety of fields that have helped community-based Friendship Centres meet the needs of there clients and greater areas. While these initiatives may be concluded or continuing in other ways, many of our current initiatives have been built on the shoulders of these past successes.
Edmonton Aboriginal Transition Initiative
ONGOING – The ANFCA acknowledges the financial assistance the Office of the Federal Interlocutor (OFI) provided for this stage of the Edmonton Aboriginal Transition Initiative (EATI). This funding allowed ANFCA to provide Consultants to engage:
- Edmonton Indigenous community members about their experience(s) related to the programs and services they require within the first 48 hours to 7 days of transitioning to Edmonton, and
- Edmonton Indigenous service agencies about services currently provided, gaps in services and service delivery partnerships.
These consultations showed us that community members want and need support with housing, transportation, medical services, cultural teachings and finding employment. In addition to the inherent complexities of applying, qualifying and affording programs are the challenges of learning what programs and services are out there and to whom they are available. At the same time, Indigenous service agencies are faced with offering increased services to a growing population while receiving less funding from historical funding sources (as are all non-profit agencies). These findings, and more, are in the EATI Community Needs Assessment Final Report.
People cited the frustrations of being referred from one agency to another and traveling long distances across the city as reasons for developing a “one stop shop” delivery of services location/entity. Indigenous service agency representatives also mentioned this possibility while asserting a need for positive interagency working relationships and partnerships.
The EATI Service Access and Coordination Strategy provides examples of urban Indigenous centres and an examination of how this may be developed in Edmonton (see link). Copies of these documents were presented to the Office of the Federal Interlocutor, members of the Stakeholders Advisory Group – Edmonton, the National Association of Friendship Centers and to those who attended a recent community gathering. There are limited copies available for community representatives at the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association office.
Common Ground: Relationship Building Framework
CONCLUDED – The ANFCA is pleased that the Rural Alberta’s Development Fund (RADF) has recently announced their support for the ANFCA’s Common Ground initiative. A $272,330 funding contribution from RADF and $40,000 from Alberta Aboriginal Relations has allowed the ANFCA to develop a relationship plan and tool kit for use by Friendship Centres, Aboriginal groups, communities and municipal governments. This program is being piloted in High Prairie, Slave Lake, Red Deer and Rocky Mountain House. Phase II of Common Ground commenced in February 2009.
New Dawn Rising Project
CONCLUDED – The ANFCA is pleased to announce that Health Canada approved approximately $163,000 in funding for the ANFCA’s New Dawn Rising Project. This funding is being made available by way of Health Canada’s Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund (DSCIF). Without this generous support, the delivery of the New Dawn Rising Project would not be possible.
CONCLUDED – As part of the ANFCA’s ongoing commitment to being a conduit of information to local Friendship Centres and the urban Indigenous community as a whole, the ANFCA has undertaken to create an interactive searchable database that allows easy access to culturally specific awareness, prevention, care and treatment related to Alberta-based service delivery. The first element of this database has a focus on HIV/AIDS with additional health issues being added as resources become available.
Artists in Action
CONCLUDED – A relatively new initiative of the ANFCA, Artists in Action, is a virtual data base of Indigenous Artisans residing in the Alberta Region. This exhaustive database will showcase the rich and culturally diverse range of artists in the Alberta region. From contemporary to traditional and from performing to visual and literary, the ANFCA’s Artists in Action database will be available online November 2007. Artists interested in making a submission for inclusion on the ANFCA’s Artists in Action Database should download and submit the Artist Application directly to the ANFCA offices.
Aboriginal Youth Multimedia Initiative 2006–2007
CONCLUDED – The Aboriginal Youth Multimedia Initiative seeks to foster awareness and critical thinking skills in urban Indigenous youth by providing them with the opportunity to investigate and express their views on family violence and bullying in their communities. Urban Indigenous youth participated in a two-day youth forum, along with Indigenous service providers, to learn more about the occurrence and historical context of family violence and bullying in Indigenous communities. This forum provided youth with an opportunity to not only investigate the causes of, but also alternatives to, violence. Youth learned about traditional roles and traditional values from Elders and were challenged to think critically about the occurrence of violence in their communities.
Following the youth forum, Friendship Centre youth will participate in film training and, in small groups, develop and produce a short video depicting their views on family violence and/or bullying. After editing and finalizing their video projects, the youth will present them to Elders, and Indigenous services providers. The videos will be distributed to Friendship Centres, Indigenous organizations, and other stakeholders to be used as resources to promote discussion and raise awareness of the occurrence of family violence and bullying. Once distributed, these resources will promote discussion regarding these issues and the possible solutions in Aboriginal communities.
- Raise awareness regarding family violence and bullying in urban Indigenous youth
- Empower urban Indigenous youth by providing them with a medium to express viewpoints and experiences regarding family violence and bullying
- Provide youth with an opportunity to develop skills including leadership skills, communication skills, teamwork skills, and critical thinking skills
- Engage urban Indigenous youth and encourage them to take action to prevent family violence and bullying
- Coordinate a youth forum involving urban Aboriginal youth participants from throughout Alberta and partners such as Edmonton’s Women’s Shelter and Kids Help Phone.
- Coordinate film training with the assistance of the Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta and the National Film Board.
- Assist youth in the development and production of a video resource reflecting their personal views of the occurrence, and prevention of family violence and bullying.
- Distribute the resource to Indigenous organizations, youth groups, and partners to raise awareness about family violence and bullying.