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Urban Commitments to Reconciliation

NAFC Presents Inaugural Forum to Showcase Urban Indigenous Social Economy Initiatives

February 20, 2024

NationTalk: OTTAWA – For the next two days, the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) welcomes Friendship Centres, Provincial/Territorial Organizations, Indigenous and non-Indigenous social purpose organizations, entrepreneurs, youth, government, and community leaders to unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe territory for the first ever Urban Indigenous Social Economy Forum in Ottawa, Ontario.

The Forum spotlights the diverse and invaluable work done by Friendship Centres and urban Indigenous social purpose organizations to foster economic and social prosperity for and by Indigenous peoples in urban communities.

As the national representative body of the largest urban Indigenous social purpose movement in Canada, the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) will provide a key platform to convene urban Indigenous perspectives within the Social Innovation and Social Finance (SI/SF) sector. By doing so, the Forum aims to amplify the unique insights, experiences, and ideas that will strengthen collective impact to reimagine the future of the social economy. As an Investment Readiness Program funding partner, the NAFC has aimed to boost urban Indigenous participation in the social economy. Since 2019, the NAFC has supported nearly 100 urban Indigenous social purpose organizations in increasing their investment readiness capacities to join the SI/SF ecosystem.

“We are delighted to host this inaugural event and spark a dialogue with key stakeholders for the strategic exploration of the actions needed to strengthen urban Indigenous economic and social prosperity,” says Jocelyn Formsma, NAFC Chief Executive Officer, “Urban Indigenous social purpose organizations are an important avenue contributing to collective intergenerational wealth and prosperity for urban Indigenous peoples and communities. We hope the Forum will create an ongoing dialogue on how Canada can advance effective measures, strategies, and interventions to address the unique and diverse needs of urban indigenous economy initiatives. It is important to recognize the active participation and vision of urban Indigenous organizations and understand that it is an integral addition to ensuring that the social innovation/social finance (SI/SF) system is a relevant and effective mechanism.”


John Paillé
Senior Communications Coordinator