At the heart of the Quebec Native Friendship Centre Movement, Indigenous social development fits into an urban Indigenous social project. This concerted effort by stakeholders and decision-makers aims to foster personal and collective equality, fairness, prosperity and attainment of full-potential, lay the grounds for harmonious relations between peoples and to stimulate the citizen participation and improved well-being of Indigenous people.
For the Movement, this effort is best conveyed by the holistic notion of Mino Madji8in, shared vision, reciprocity, collaboration and innovation, which considers the whole individual in a wider web of family and community.
In Anishinabe, Mini Madji8in designates an overall and improved well-being that is harmonious and balanced. Reflecting the spirit of our ancestors, Mino Madji8in is a specifically Indigenous way of being, understanding the world and interacting with respect for our traditional and contemporary values. Mino Madji8in suggests both a state of mind and the certainty that improved well-being comes from cultivating our desire to be in harmony in everything, in time and in space. This quest for improved individual and collective well-being depends on balance and interaction between the various dimensions of the Circle of Life.
This vision of social development draws on cooperative community building for social transformation, and includes all stakeholders: citizens, community organizations, public institutions, private and social-economy business.
The RCAAQ and the Native Friendship Centres work in a spirit of complementarity with their various partners, drawing on each’s expertise, so that Indigenous people living in or passing through cities may access high-quality services that meet their needs.
Whether from the strength of partnerships or their innovative character, many of the Native Friendship Centre Movement’s projects are inspiring and promising, and they reflect our vision of social development. As a result, in terms of social development, the Friendship Centre Movement is an unavoidable partner in implementing innovative strategies for social change that fosters both individual and community development.
A few examples of inspiring Native Friendship Centre initiatives:
- Sakihikan – Saint-Louis Lake social economy development project in La Tuque
A social economy business run by the Centre d’amitié autochtone de La Tuque (CAALT), Sakihikan offers various services and activities to exploit the attractions of St-Louis Lake and promote Indigenous culture, while generating significant economic activity. The community centre’s location makes it an ideal recreational, tourist and cultural hub. Thanks to current rehabilitation of its building, Sakihikan will provide CAALT with the opportunity to promote the dynamism of Indigenous culture, by offering a variety of services and programming: outdoor activities, Indigenous art, multimedia production services and snack counter, among others. One of the goals of this project, carried out in partnership with the municipality, is to revitalize this natural site in the heart of La Tuque to give Indigenous and non-Indigenous citizens and visitors full access to this space, and thus build bridges between cultures.
- Kijaté: 24 units of Indigenous social housing in Val-d’Or
The Kijaté apartment complex provides vulnerable Indigenous families in Val-d’Or with affordable housing that meets their needs. Citizen involvement and the commitment of the urban Indigenous community have fueled the initiative, led by the Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre since 2009.
The goal of the project is to offer housing that improves the quality of life of Indigenous people by placing value on harmonious co-habitation and countering poverty, homelessness and social exclusion in a desire to guide community members toward improved individual and collective well-being and the realization of their dreams.
Meaning “full of sunlight” in Anishinabe, Kijaté has received funding from the Société d’habitation du Québec under the AccèsLogis program and from Ville de Val-d’Or.
- Shabogamak: An Indigenous recreational and tourist centre in Senneterre
The Centre d’entraide et d’amitié autochtone de Senneterre’s Chalet Shabogamak is a cultural space for Senneterre’s Elders and Indigenous community to gather and fully experience their culture. Shabogamak also fits into the broader tourist offering in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. Located at the mouth of three major rivers, Shabogamak offers visitors hiking, canoeing and immersion in the Indigenous cultures of Senneterre.
Located 12 kilometers from downtown Val-d’Or on the shores of Lemoine Lake, Kinawit welcomes you to its energy-replenishing natural setting and offers activities to discover Anishnabe culture and its age-old presence on the land.
This enchanting site has a fully equipped main building, five tipis and eight heated and lit rustic cabins as well as a large lawn area surrounded by woods and marked hiking trails.
Kinawit rents event spaces and lodging in rustic cabins.
Cultural and crafts workshops, guided visits, exhibits and hiking awaits!
Projects and Programs Coordinator
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