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Harper Government Invests in Aboriginal People Living in Urban Centres

OTTAWA, Feb. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt today announced an improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy aimed at increasing the economic participation of urban Aboriginal people.

The Government of Canada is making improvements to the Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) by consolidating four programs into two and by providing greater support to the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) for the delivery of the programs. The federal government will be providing $43 million per year over the next two years to the NAFC for the delivery of funding to organizations offering programs and services that align with the Government's priority of increasing the participation of urban Aboriginal peoples in Canada's economy. The new approach will result in greater efficiency and reduced duplication.

The National Association of Friendship Centres is an established organization that currently plays a central role in providing Aboriginal cultural-based programs and services to a growing urban Aboriginal population across Canada. Improvements to the UAS will focus on collaboration with the NAFC to streamline support and reduce administrative burdens. These savings will be reinvested to support community projects, initiatives and programs dedicated to increasing the participation of urban Aboriginal peoples in Canada's economy.

This streamlined approach to urban programming works alongside other Government of Canada initiatives, such as the First Nation Income Assistance program, in supporting Aboriginal peoples as they contribute to Canada's economy and labour force.

Quick Facts

  • 56% of all Aboriginal people in Canada live in urban areas.
  • This new approach includes the consolidation of urban Aboriginal programming into two new programs - Urban Partnerships and Community Capacity Support - and the development of a new delivery model in partnership with the National Association of Friendship Centres.
  • This new streamlined approach was developed following a series of engagement sessions with urban Aboriginal communities and other relevant stakeholders.


"The Government of Canada recognizes the crucial role that urban Aboriginal organizations play in Canada and the important services that they provide. Our Government is committed to supporting the participation of Aboriginal peoples in the Canadian economy. The improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy will result in the availability of more funding for program participants."

Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

"This is the most significant realignment of funding in the past 35 years, and is great news for Friendship Centres and urban Aboriginal people.We see this as an opportunity to show leadership and to collaborate more closely with federal government partners, and other organizations, to innovate in program delivery and reach more Aboriginal people in a number of new and exciting initiatives."

Nelson Mayer
NAFC President

Related Products

Backgrounder: Urban Aboriginal Programming, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Fact Sheet: The Improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy: Urban Partnerships and Community Capacity Supports
Frequently Asked Questions: The Improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy

Associated Links

Urban Aboriginal Peoples
National Association of Friendship Centres

SOURCE Government of Canada

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