Empowering Indigenous Leaders of the FutureOct 10, 2020
Located on the traditional territory of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre (VNFC) supports more than 17,000 urban Indigenous people through accessible youth-focused programs. These programs support mental health and well-being while increasing participant self confidence, graduation rates and career-based skills. Through our grant support, we helped VNFC establish their first Youth Council, expanding youth programming in the region.
“With the support from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, we were able to launch the Victoria Native Friendship Centre Youth Council,” said Executive Director Ron Rice. “The funding provided underserved Indigenous youth with the opportunity to experience leadership in their community and learn from their peers through the establishment of a Youth Council.”
"The funding provided underserved Indigenous youth with the opportunity to experience leadership in their community ... "
In addition to helping support the inaugural youth council, we helped support VNFC during the COVID-19 crisis with an additional grant to ensure that the needs of their youth council were met, allowing them to continue to enhance their community in a virtual environment. These remote meetings serve as critical touch points for youth experiencing an increase in feelings of anxiety, depression and isolation due to lack of social interaction. As a result, VNFC is continuing to keep at-risk youth engaged and connected, ultimately improving educational outcomes while supporting the next generation of Indigenous leaders.
By using virtual technology for good, we can help ensure that urban Indigenous youth continue to connect with one another, increasing their confidence while supporting their communities and peers.