Labrador Friendship Centre Sustains Aboriginal Programs With Provincial Government Funding

by NationTalk on September 15, 20091114 Views

September 15, 2009
Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs

The Labrador Friendship Centre Development Association of Happy Valley-Goose Bay is enhancing its premises with a $75,000 investment from the Provincial Government. The investment enables the organization to continue to be a focal point for Aboriginal groups in the area, offering valuable social and cultural services, and serving as an important contributor to the regional economy.”The Labrador Friendship Centre has been instrumental in both the social and economic development of the Upper Lake Melville region,” said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. “This initiative will result in increased direct and indirect economic benefits to the area. It will enable the centre to continue to facilitate the integration of local Aboriginal groups into the local business sector through its employment, housing, and educational services.”

Improvements to the centre, to be completed by the end of this year’s construction season, include a new ventilation system, as well as new windows, siding, and roofing. These renovations help sustain available programs, result in increased building efficiency, and provide a comfortable and healthy environment for workers and users.

“The Labrador Friendship Centre is a vital component of the local community,” said the Honourable John Hickey, Minister of Labrador Affairs and MHA for Lake Melville. “The Provincial Government’s investment for upgrades will make the centre more functional, as well as more aesthetically pleasing, improving its status as a proponent of native people’s culture, sense of pride, and employment prospects.”

Established in 1974, the Labrador Friendship Centre originated as a service hub for Aboriginal people who had moved from coastal Labrador to the more urbanized Happy Valley-Goose Bay area and were dealing with the challenges of this adjustment. These challenges include communications barriers, low levels of education, and legal and cultural issues. Today, the organization is one of the larger employers in the area, providing services to enrich the lives of the Inuit, Innu and Métis people of Labrador through the provision and implementation of social, cultural, health, educational, employment and developmental initiatives.

“This investment is instrumental in enabling the association to leverage additional funds from other agencies and partners,” said Stanley Oliver, Executive Director, Labrador Friendship Centre. “The renovations create a better environment to carry out our extensive programs and services to an ever-increasing number of users.”

This initiative was funded through the Regional/Sectoral Diversification Fund (RSDF), which through Budget 2009: Building on Our Strong Foundation was increased to an $8 million fund. Administered by the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, the RSDF provides non-repayable contributions to economic development agencies for initiatives that address regional and sectoral development and diversification.

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Media contacts:

Richard Mercer
Manager of Communications
Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
709-729-7311, 691-8785

John Tompkins
Director of Communications
Department of Labrador and
Aboriginal Affairs
709-729-1674, 728-7762

Stanley Oliver
Executive Director
Labrador Friendship Centre

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