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73 Hargrave Street- Second Floor

Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 1N3

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday – 8:30am to 4:30pm

About Us

About the Manitoba Association of Friendship Centres

History of Manitoba Friendship Centres

Since the 1950s, initially formed as gathering places for Indigenous people to come together in larger urban settings, Friendship Centres in the present day continue to remain strong and stable pillars of their communities. From the onset of Indigenous people relocating from reserves, Metis communities, and remote locations, an overarching need for access to various services, such as employment and housing, was identified and Friendship Centres evolved to provide referral services for both urban Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in a safe and culturally reflective manner.  
The first Friendship Centre in Manitoba, and one of the first in Canada, was incorporated in the city of Winnipeg in 1951 and through the next few decades 10 additional Friendship Centres incorporated across the province. Currently 11 Friendship Centres operate in Brandon, Dauphin, Flin Flon, Lynn Lake, Portage La Prairie, Riverton, Selkirk, Swan River, The Pas, Thompson, and Winnipeg.  
The strength of the Friendship Centre Movement is the grassroots-based emphasis on community well-being, inclusion, and equality for all. As autonomous organizations that identify and establish self-determined activities, Friendship Centres respond to the required needs and fill in the gaps where services and resources are lacking within their communities. Working to improve the social determinants of health for urban Indigenous people, Friendship Centres provide programs and services in areas such as elder and senior programs, youth programming, early childhood education, mental health and counselling, food insecurity, cultural program, justice and prevention programs, liaison services, and emergency services.  

A National Movement and The Manitoba Association of Friendship Centres  

The Manitoba Friendship Centres are part of the Friendship Centre Movement which is Canada’s largest Urban Indigenous Delivery Infrastructure. There are over 120 Friendship Centres located across Canada that are self-determined, autonomous, and distinct in their programming, yet collectively working toward the same goal: improve the lives of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Provincial-Territorial Associations support the local Friendship Centres while the National Association of Friendship Centres represents the collective interest of all Friendship Centres across Canada.  
Established in 1971, the Manitoba Association of Friendship Centres (MAFC) is the Provincial-Territorial organization in Manitoba that advocates for the collective interests of its 11-member Friendship Centres at multiple Government levels: provincial, and federal. As a status-blind and non-political organization, through strategic planning, the MAFC strives to ensure equal access to programs and services for all citizens.  
Guided by Indigenous traditions, values, and teachings, the MAFC fosters community-based strategies to eliminate disparities between Indigenous peoples and society. The MAFC provides operational administrative support to its member Friendship Centres as they seek to implement culturally relevant individual and community programs and services in relation to education, employment, health, and physical conditions. The MAFC supports to Friendship Centres to ensure efficient delivery of programs and services that foster community self-determination will striving to enhance relationship-building and understandings between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.  


The objectives of the MAFC are: 
– To improve the quality of life for Indigenous people by supporting self-determined activities 
– To encourage equal access and participation in society  
– To respect and strengthen the increasing emphasis on Aboriginal Cultural Distinctiveness 
– Negotiating with government regarding manners of concern to Friendship Centres collectively  
– Providing assistance to Friendship Centres 
– Dissemination of information concerning the member Friendship Centres, Indigenous people and the general public 
– Encouraging and improving communication between member Friendship Centres 
– To promote the development of new Friendship Centres 

About Friendship Centres

Friendship Centres initially emerged as gathering places for Indigenous people to come together in urban settings to meet new people in a familiar and culturally-relevant spaces.

As Indigenous people were relocating from reserves, Metis communities, and remote locations, the growing Urban Indigenous population resulted in an overarching need for access to various services, such as employment and housing. During this time, Indigenous people faced difficulties access mainstream services, Friendship Centres evolved to provide programming and services in a safe and culturally reflective manner.