The mission of the Canadian Native Friendship Centre (CNFC) is to help Indigenous communities to thrive and become self-sustaining and to improve the quality of life of Indigenous people across the country. Over its 60 year lifespan, the CNFC has evolved into a welcoming, holistic, and culturally-relevant space that provides numerous Indigenous-based services and supports from its central home in Edmonton. Increased space demands and rising rents compelled the Centre to consider a move of address. The planned expansion, as well, provides the opportunity for the CNFC to collaborate with other Edmonton-based services to form a unified Indigenous community hub.
A common theme that emerged throughout our stakeholder engagement sessions was the medicine wheel and its primary four directions. The new centre will follow this circular model and offer space programming for community and culture activities, employment and training, education, and Indigenous-led businesses and non-profits. All of its elements will be designed to support the thriving of the community and the earth, from operable windows and communal spaces to photovoltaic arrays and gardens. Through community engagement and collaboration, we arrived at this destination statement: The vision of the CNFC is to create a sustainable community hub that recognizes inclusiveness, comfort, security and accessibility through diverse Indigenous-led partnerships in service of community.