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

This Indigenous, youth-led organization is strengthening its community using Anishinaabe philosophy

Why It Matters

A strong sense of belonging builds community resilience, which has been vital during COVID-19. This is especially true for Indigenous communities, facing already-existing inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. As organizations move towards recovery and look to improve their services, they must centre inclusion — something that is integral to Anishinaabe thought and philosophy.

Indigenous youth weren’t involved in creating COVID-19 policies — here’s why that needs to change for recovery

Why It Matters

When creating COVID-19 protocols, the government didn’t always engage Indigenous communities, leaving many Indigenous leaders out of the decision-making process. Moving forward, that has to change; Indigenous youth are Canada's fastest-growing demographic, and for full COVID-19 recovery — one that takes into account the wellbeing of Indigenous communities — young policy leaders need equal say in building a better future.

This founder’s new program is reactivating Indigenous concepts of investing — here’s how

Why It Matters

“A key strategy in the colonization process, the residential school system, and the Indian Act, was to remove Indigenous Peoples from the land and displace Indigenous economies for the benefit of the settler population,” reads the Sage Initiative website. “This initiative is designed to reverse that process.”

Indigenous youth should lead Canada’s implementation of UNDRIP, experts say

Why It Matters

After its initial refusal in 2007, Canada endorsed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People: a piece of legislation impacting everything from resource extraction to land disputes. With Indigenous youth being the future of their communities, it’s vital that UNDRIP be implemented with Indigenous youth policy leaders at the forefront, shaping what future legislation looks like in Canada.