The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia have recently revealed additional funding for a new Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre in Halifax. They have pledged an additional $15 million, bringing the total commitment to nearly $50 million. This initiative aims to support and empower the Indigenous community in the area. Andy Fillmore, the Member of Parliament for Halifax, shared that the federal government will contribute an extra $5 million on top of the $34 million already allocated for the project. The new center will be constructed on the outskirts of Citadel Hill.
Importance of the New Mi’kmaw Friendship Centre in Halifax, Canada
The primary reason for constructing the new building is to provide more space, specifically designed to meet the needs of the growing and diverse Indigenous population. MacFarlane emphasized that the Wije’winen Centre will play a significant role in enriching Halifax’s cultural landscape and serve as a meaningful gathering place for the urban Indigenous community. It will also offer a range of services to cater to their needs. Initially, Nova Scotia invested $1.7 million in a temporary facility for the friendship center located on Brunswick Street. This facility currently provides over 55 services, including early childhood education, housing assistance, language learning, and harm reduction programs. However, the new center will offer a wider variety of events and include a community meeting room and a fresh medical facility.
Glode Desrochers, who works at the friendship center, highlighted the challenging nature of their work as they assist individuals dealing with mental health issues, addiction concerns, and homelessness. She emphasized the importance of creating a new Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre in Halifax, a place that the staff and community can be proud of a safe and secure space that reflects their identity and culture. The officials said that the construction will start soon. Importantly, Glode Desrochers stated that the center will be open not only to the Indigenous population but also to the non-Indigenous community, fostering inclusivity and promoting cultural exchange. This initiative reflects the government’s commitment to creating a harmonious and unified society that respects and celebrates Indigenous heritage.