Grande Prairie Friendship Centre Annual Report 2020 21

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Grande Prairie Friendship Centre Annual Report 2020-21

“We acknowledge the homeland of the many diverse First Nations and
Métis people whose ancestors have walked
this land since time immemorial. We are grateful to work, live and learn on the traditional territory of Treaty 8”

The Grande Prairie Friendship Centre, (GPFC), was created to deliver programs that meet the needs of Indigenous people in our community migrating to urban centres. We strive to bridge the cultural gap between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities through a wide variety of initiatives. In March 2020, the World Health Organization and Government of Canada, along with provincial and territorial governments, declared COVID19 a global pandemic. The world essentially shut down. In the face of uncertainty and fear, the GPFC came together with their stakeholders and modified services to best meet the needs of the community. This report will serve to highlight both the successes and challenges faced by the organization as they supported the community through a global pandemic.
Virtual Pitone Youth Group

In this issue…
 Mission & Vision Statement
 Message from our ED & Board Chair
 Organizational Overview  Board of Directors  Strategic Plan Summary  Points of Service  Serving our community  Spirit Seekers Youth
Conference  Food Security & Family
Programming  On-Campus & Elders  Cultural Connections  New Programs & Services  Gender-Based Violence  Teen Healthy
Relationships  Success Stories  Partners & Donors  Contact us

Mission Statement:
Working with partners and community agencies, the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre will provide leadership and opportunities that will improve the wellbeing and self-reliance of urban Indigenous people, and the community as a whole.
Vision Statement:
An Indigenous organization enhancing the quality of life of urban Indigenous people, and the community as a whole, while promoting understanding and respect for Indigenous culture.

A message from Miranda Laroche,
Executive Director
I would first like to acknowledge that the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre is on the traditional land of Treat 8 territory. The land of many diverse Indigenous people including the Cree, Dene, Beaver and Metis people and all our ancestors. We are extremely grateful to learn, live and work in this area. The Grande Prairie Friendship Centre, in existence since 1965, has always shown resiliency and 2020-21 was no exception. Towards the end of last fiscal year COVID-19 hit the world and we were forced to shut down most in person programming. It was quite amazing to see and be a part of an amazing team that showed their true colors. They kicked into gear and changed how they offered services to their clients and families. The team of staff and board members truly continues to amaze me.
Throughout the rollercoaster year, we continued to offer and administer programs that has supported our membership, from virtual programs and events, to curbside pick-ups, to in-person supports. We were able to solidify extra funding to increase our capacity with Mental Health supports, connection summer programming, extended hours in our Community Kitchen, and supporting women who may be experiencing violence.
In a lot of ways, we have increased our capacity for programming and serving our membership, as virtual is easier for some people to access. It has been a difficult year for many as mental health supports are needed more than ever, people have lost their jobs and many have lost loved ones as well. We have continued to keep our doors open and have offered supports to those in need. This says a lot about the staff of the GPFC and their dedication to ensure the community is taken care of from babies to Elders.
Hiy Hiy Miranda Laroche GPFC Executive Director

A Message From Our President:
Over the last year, we have seen many changes in our centre and community. Throughout the pandemic, our centre has been able to deliver its programs to our clients with the assistance of our new digital world. Our centre has had positive upgrades to its infrastructure-such as high speed internet-to help future-proof us.
The pandemic has definitely been trying and we have had some great opportunities and built new partnerships, such as with Alberta Health Services and the delivery of a vaccine clinic to our community. Currently, we are looking at starting a traditional healing garden and doing some well needed upgrades to the outside of our building . I feel these initiatives will help propel positive changes, as we move forward in these uncertain times into the future. As we move forward, I encourage everybody to stay strong, keep pushing and be the example we need in our community.
~Len Morissette ~

The Grande Prairie Friendship Centre is a
non-profit organization that is governed by a local, independent policy-
setting Board of Directors

Lenard Morissette Leonard Auger Ronnie LaPierre Amylee Snider Angie Crerar Aedon Janes Joseph Redhead

President Vice President Treasurer Secretary Elder Youth Past President

Lynn Caudron

Leona Lanti

Jordan Wuttunnee-Campbell

Derek VanTassell

Debra Jones

Casey Caines Lois Duke











Len A

Len M


Missing Photo: Debra Jones

In 2019, the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre participated in a series of strategic planning sessions that were led by Strategic Planning Facilitators. From these planning sessions, common themes emerged. The Strategic Plan provides the framework for the achievement of four main impact goals identified to support the Centre’s mission. The goals serve as the guidance and motivation to achieve the Centre’s 5-year vision-and beyond, to enhance the vitality of the Friendship Centre Movement.

Collectively, the goals and priorities identified in the Strategic Plan represent the voices of the Centre’s Board of Directors, Program Coordinators, and staffing teams. COVID-19 presented challenges in carrying out year one activities. Fundraising, event hosting and in-person networking was limited with the restrictions in place. Even with the challenges, the Centre successfully completed many activities, such as: Parenting Programs, membership drive activities, cultural workshops, seeking new funding opportunities, supporting PRIDE events, partnering with CFWE to reach a wider population, and using social media for advertising and the sharing of information. Read on to learn more about the vision and direction of the Centre.

Babies’ Best Start Virtual Group




Innovative programing Providing opportunities

to support the

for cultural learning and

vitality of the GPFC community engagement


Supporting continued growth, focusing on our underserved populations

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Grande Prairie Friendship Centre Annual Report 2020 21