Growing up in urban centers, Indigenous youth often experience a disconnection from their cultural roots and a lack of access to culturally safe resources and services.
Since 2019, the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association (ANFCA) has worked with youth from Friendship Centres across Alberta to address and support the unique needs of urban Indigenous youth.
“Rise Up: Braided Perspectives” is a youth empowerment program developed by ANFCA. With a focus on leadership skills, cultural knowledge and personal empowerment, “Rise Up” seeks to increase awareness of reconciliation-related subjects, including the 94 Calls to Action and UNDRIP. Additionally, it will foster collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth on reconciliation initiatives through workshops, virtual training and in-person multigenerational gatherings.
The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund (IRF) will play a key role in supporting the program for the next two years. A substantial grant will cover core program expenses, including staff salaries; transportation, meals, and accommodation for youth and Elder gatherings; and facilitator fees, workshop supplies, and honorariums for traditional education sessions.
Friendship Centres in Alberta support over 220,000 Indigenous individuals annually, providing culturally appropriate programs and services. Governed and led by Indigenous voices, ANFCA and its member Friendship Centres create safe, welcoming spaces for community development, empowering Indigenous people to fully engage in and contribute to their communities.
Archdiocese of Edmonton