Author Archive

BCAAFC President Dr. Sharon McIvor responds to MMIWG Report

Daflos, P., CTV Vancouver, June 3, 2019 – ‘Shameful and disgraceful milestone’: Response to MMIWG report from Vancouver

“‘It’s finally good to have it acknowledged that what’s been happening to us for the last 200 years is genocide,’ said lawyer, activist and professor Sharon McIvor.”

“McIvor says while she’s encouraged to see the report finally come to fruition, it’s going to take a long time to fix the deep systemic inequalities at play.”

Read the final report here – Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls


GOV 2019 Press Release

Press Release GOV


Women’s Innovation Fund

PHSA has released guidelines for an Innovation Fund dedicated to Indigenous women living with or at risk of HIV and HCV. This funding is for $75,000 per fiscal year, for 2018/2019 and 2019/20.   Proposals are due on Friday, September 14th and can be submitted to

Please use the attached proposal template  for submissions.

Innovation Fund Guidelines


Newly Elected Board of Directors

The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres Membership elected a new Board of Directors at the 2018 Annual General Meeting. The AGM was hosted by Lilloet Friendship Centre Society in Whistler July 5-7th, 2018.
The BCAAFC is pleased to announce the new Board of Directors:

1. President: Dr. Sharon McIvor, Conayt Friendship Society, Merrit
2. Vice President: Joanne Mills, Fraser Region Aboriginal Centre, Surrey
3. Secretary: Calvin Albright, Kermode Friendship Centre, Terrace
4. Treasurer: Victor Tom, Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society
5. Youth rep: Shyla Elgie, Prince George
6. Mathew Baran, Ooknakane Friendship Centre, Penticton
7. Richard Samuel, Port Alberni Friendship Centre
8. Keri Hutchison, Victoria Native Friendship Centre
9. Fabian Alexis, North Okanagan Friendship Centre, Vernon
10. Debbie Williams, Hii ye yu Lelum Society House of Friendship, Duncan
11. Elijah Mack, Conayt Friendship Society, Merritt

On behalf of the BCAAFC President, members and staff, we extend a warm welcome to the new Board of Directors.

The newly elected Board of Directors extends their appreciation and gratitude to the previous board for their commitment and dedication, and raises their hands in the Coast Salish way in high respect of the previous President, Annette Morgan, Dze L’ Kant Friendship Centre, for her commitment and leadership over the past seven years.

Always in friendship,
Leslie Varley



1 Million Points of Service – Cariboo

Cariboo Friendship Society part of provincial one million points of service milestone.

The B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres said the province’s 25 friendship centres provide more than 400 programs.



BC’s 25 Friendship Centres hits one million points of service per year

BC Friendship Centres hit milestone service delivery across BC with over one million points of service within a year.  The 25 Friendship Centres that make up the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres saw over 4,500 clients a week walk through their doors seeking services in a year.

Read more here


Premier Horgan

Premier John Horgan meets with Friendship Centre House and BCAAFC staff in Prince Rupert.

2018 HorganVisit 02


A Great Loss

Preston collaborated with both the First Nations Health Authority, the Mètis Nation and the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres to increase culturally safe access to cancer services for all Indigenous people.  The BC Indigenous Cancer Strategy outlines the partners commitment to improve the cancer journey from prevention to palliation for Indigenous people. 

On behalf of the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, our hearts go out to his family, friends and colleagues.  He will be remembered, and we are lucky to have worked with him.

– Executive Director Leslie Varley

Preston Guno 01e


Hands Raised in High Respect

This week we mourn the loss of the Hereditary Chief of Xwepsum, Esquimalt First Nation, who passed away this weekend.  In Lekwungen teachings, both Songhees and Esquimalt, the name of the deceased is not mentioned, and pictures are not displayed.  We acknowledge the Lekwungen teachings and raise our hands.

 On behalf of the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, I extend our deepest condolences to the Thomas family and the Esquimalt Nation on their loss.  The late Chief was always welcoming, supportive, and generous with his time.  We have been very fortunate to live, work and play on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen people.  We join our colleagues, friends, and family in remembering a leader, a teacher, an advocate for Indigenous rights and humble man.

  -Executive Director Leslie Varley


Indigenous Poverty Reduction Consultations

Friendship Centres across BC are hosting Indigenous poverty reduction consultations to inform the development of a BC Poverty Reduction Strategy, as committed to by the BC Government. These consultations are taking place over the course of February and March 2018 with a summary report being provided to the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. These sessions are free and open to community members to come and share their experiences, barriers and solutions with respect to reducing poverty amongst Indigenous people in BC. Please contact your local Friendship Centre for more details on the specific session in your community and check back often as we will update our website as more locations are confirmed.

February 7th, 2018 – Port Alberni Friendship Centre – 3555 4th Ave., Port Alberni BC

February 8th, 2018 – Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre – 3955-3rd Ave., Smithers BC

February 16th, 2018 – Conayt Friendship Society – 2164 Quilchena Ave, Merritt BC

Febraury 21st, 2018 – Dease Lake (hosted by Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre) – 4th Ave. House #1, Dease Lake BC

Febraury 28th, 2018 – Houston (hosted by Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre) – 3383-11th Street, Houston BC

Febraury 28th, 2018 – Wachiay Friendship Centre Society – 1625 McPhee Ave., Courtenay BC

March 1st, 2018 – Prince George Native Friendship Centre – 1600 3rd Ave, Prince George BC

March 2nd, 2018 – Hiiye’yu Lelum House of Friendship – #107-5462 Trans Canada Hwy, Duncan BC

March 2nd, 2018 – Victoria Native Friendship Centre – 231 Regina Ave., Victoria BC

March 7th, 2018 – Prince George Native Friendship Centre – 1600 3rd Ave, Prince George BC

March 8th, 2018 – Ooknakane Friendship Centre – 146 Ellis St., Penticton BC

March 8th, 2018 – Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society – 125 Palm St., Kamloops BC

March 9th, 2018 – Victoria Native Friendship Centre – 231 Regina Ave., Victoria BC

March 13th, 2018 – Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre – 145A – 8950 Granville St, Port Hardy BC

March 14th, 2018 – Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society – 442 Leon Ave. Kelowna BC

March 17th, 2018 – Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association – 13639 108th Ave, Surrey BC

March 20th, 2018 – Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society – 1607 East Hastings, Vancouver BC

March 21st, 2018 – Quesnel Tillicum Society – 319 North Fraser Drive, Quesnel BC

March 22nd, 2018 – Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre – 421 Franklin St, Nanaimo BC

March 23rd, 2018 – Friendship House Association of Prince Rupert – 744 Fraser St., Prince Rupert BC

March 23rd, 2018 – Mission Friendship Centre Society – 33150A First Ave., Mission BC

March 29th, 2018 – Kermode Friendship Society – 3313 Kalum St., Terrace BC