"A celebration of us persisting”: Jocelyn Formsma on 50 years of the Indigenous Friendship Centre movement

Formsma is the National Association of Friendship Centres’s executive director, and is gearing up for another 50 years of service to the movement

Why It Matters

Since its establishment in 1971, the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) has grown to become a non-profit supporting Indigenous communities from coast to coast across Canada. This year, the NAFC rings in its 50th anniversary, and executive director Jocelyn Formsma opens up about the movement’s importance to community members today and into the future.

Indigenous-led, Indigenous-serving organizations are no strangers to challenge. 

Even in the face of Canada’s past and ongoing genocide of and atrocities against Indigenous people, this group of organizations has remained unwaveringly resilient in its service. 

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has exacerbated the challenges that Indigenous Peoples face today — resulting in a growing demand for support for these communities, that Canada’s Indigenous-led and Indigenous-focused social impact sector is struggling to meet. 

But even in the midst of a global pandemic, one Indigenous-led non-profit organization — the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) — has found cause for celebration.  

The NAFC is the national representative and unifying body for the Friendship Centre movement (FCM) — a movement that for fifty years has worked to

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