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The Native Friendship Centre unveils its large-scale, unifying project

by ahnationtalk on May 2, 202367 Views

Val-d’Or, May 1, 2023 _ The Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre is proud to announce a major infrastructure renovation and expansion project in downtown Val-d’Or.

The announcement was made in the presence of the Minister of Crown-Aboriginal Relations, the Honourable Marc Miller and the Minister responsible for First Nations and Inuit Relations, Ian Lafrenière. This project represents an investment of $60 million, of which $40 million comes from the Government of Canada, more specifically from Infrastructure Canada ($25 million), and from Indigenous Services Canada ($15 million). As announced in the last provincial budget, Quebec will contribute $10 million. The Native Friendship Centre has also received support from the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon, which is contributing $10 million.

The Centre was assisted by the City of Val-d’Or, which, in addition to supporting the project, helped facilitate the team’s work throughout the process.

With a view to consolidating its social and community vocation and increasing its social economy activities, this project will generate significant spin-offs in its milieu, whether through an enriched offer of culturally relevant and safe services for the community members, access to community spaces and living environments, job creation and the participation of Indigenous people in the economy, all of which will promote the improvement of the quality of life of First Peoples in Val-d’Or.

A culturally safe partnership

For nearly 50 years, the Centre has been one of the providers of accommodation services for patients of the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay (CBHSSJB) who come to Val-d’Or to receive health care. The two organizations are pleased to announce their continued partnership. The three upper floors of the new pavilion will include 48 rooms with private bathrooms, for a total of 90 beds, as well as communal areas specifically for Cree patients to socialise and prepare meals together. Thus, the Centre will become a key player in the accommodation of CBHSSJB patients and their close caregivers who accompany them to Val-d’Or.

A venue for artists and knowledge-carriers

In addition to being a unifying project, it is an exceptional opportunity to affirm the identity and pride of the Anicinabe First Nation as well as other First Peoples who live in, frequent and transit through Val-d’Or. It will provide a space for the dissemination of culture, identity, language and territorial issues. It will allow Indigenous artists to spread and share the knowledge and traditions of Indigenous peoples, especially the Anicinabek.

About the VDNFC

The Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre is a privileged gathering place and a public forum advocating for the well-being, rights and individual and collective interests of Indigenous people coping with the urban reality.

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Contact:

Nathalie Fiset, Administrative Services Coordinator, VDNFC 819 825-8299 ext. 251

NT4

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