The United Way is lending a big hand to the Nistawoyou Association Friendship Centre.
On Tuesday, the centre was presented with a $75,000 donation which will help continue their programs and ensure their staff is taken care of.
President of the Friendship Centre Bryan Faynt tells Mix News they had to overcome some obstacles to be eligible for the donation.
“It took a while to stabilize the board and the operations, administration and the finances. Now that we have that all stable, United Way is onside, as is the Provincial Friendship Centre so we’re pretty pleased with that.”
Nistawoyou had been dealing with financial difficulties which created those obstacles – but Faynt says those issues have stabilized and now they’re looking forward to the future.
Vice President Ken Sheardown says the funding will help with organizing innovative programs for the centre while keeping old ones intact.
“Funding helps get more programs. We have the staff that are here and we have the ability to get more programs in so that we can start branching out for the community and our members.”
New Executive Director Nancy Hollman hopes the money will also be used for furthering relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures.
“For the friendship centre, our focus is promoting and encouraging stronger relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in our community, through programs and services for people of all ages. Our programs and services are built on traditional values and culture and we want to share that.”
Although Indigenous, Metis and Inuit groups share many similarities their histories have their own distinction and the centre hopes to shine a light on that.