Saturday, November 1, 2014

UNFC to celebrate 40 years

The United Native Friendship Centre here officially was incorporated on Jan. 23, 1973 so to celebrate its 40th anniversary tomorrow, an open house is being held at all three of its locations.
There will be a traditional opening at 10 a.m. at the UNFC’s main building (516 Portage Ave.), along with food, beverages, and prizes up for grabs.

Activities, which run until 3 p.m., also are being staged at the Circle of Life Centre (616 Mowat Ave.) and “Headstart” program (308 Butler Ave.)
“The vision our community had in the 1970s of having a safe place to meet and community programming is now stronger than ever in 2013,” said UNFC executive director Sheila McMahon.
She noted there have been plenty of changes over the years, especially since the UNFC was first run by volunteers as there was no funding to pay staff and the bills were covered through fundraising.
“From what started out as one funded program and a small rented office space in 1973 to now having three buildings and 19 programs,” McMahon enthused.
But McMahon admitted despite their achievements, growth, and milestones, at times they still are fighting the battles to keep their programs going.
“In 2013, there are going to be many challenges for us as aboriginal people and we will move forward in unity,” she remarked.
“The Friendship Centre will continue to support the community [and] we will also be celebrating our 40 years by bringing people together in celebration.”

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