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The vision of the Barrie Native Friendship Centre is to improve the quality of life for all Indigenous / Métis people in the area, regardless of legal definition by providing a gathering place which promotes unity and wholistic healing within the community at large. This is accomplished through a network of culturally based programs, services and teachings.
Through the hard work and dedication by a collective of community minded individuals the Barrie Native Friendship Centre had its beginnings in September 1987 on Baltimore Road, seven months later; in April of 1988 the Centre was incorporated. Needing a larger space we moved to Owen Street where we had mostly children’s programming and cultural teachings accomplished strictly through dedicated volunteers. We also held many fundraising and social functions to support our dream, which led into the purchase of our current building at 175 Bayfield Street. We became a member of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) and the new location allowed us to offer more programs and services relevant to the needs of our community. With the establishment of the BNFC and the continued growing support of the community and funders we finally had a culturally safe gathering place which could be relevant for years and generations to come. Our dedicated staff and volunteers have helped to drive the Centre forward, utilizing the positive friendship centre movement, bring both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities together to promote and reaffirm a strong sense of self-worth through identity, cultural awareness and education. The future will take us to new heights as local leaders in the greater Barrie community.