The Port Alberni Friendship Center, established in the 1966, is one of the more than 118 friendship centers across Canada, 25 of which are located in BC, with a mandate of providing services to Urban Aboriginals. The services presently provided at our center are counseling, recreation programs, youth employment training program, Outreach Legal Advocacy Program, some public health services, social events, crafts and cultural events, with a general drop-in atmosphere.

The Friendship Center is a non-profit society made up of individual members, governed by a board, which is elected from the membership at large, and administered by an executive director, and a staff of up to 40. The Friendship Center’s core budget is funded by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). Other programs are funded by individual agencies with a focus on that particular subject area.

Our Programs

  • Addictions & Mental Health Counseling
  • Brighter Futures Parenting Program
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Early Years Program
  • Elders Program
  • Family Support Program
  • Family Law Advocacy Program
  • Healthycare Pregnancy Program
  • Outreach Legal Advocate
  • Training for Employment
  • Youth Drop-in Program

Addictions & Mental Health Counseling

Funded by Island Health, the Mental Health and Addictions program continues to provide quality counseling services to members of the Port Alberni and surrounding communities.

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Brighter Futures Parenting Program

Brighter Futures is a weekly peer facilitated program for parents, extended families and caregivers that encourages parenting growth by sharing and learning from each other. Brighter Futures was designed for use by our community with input from Elders and parents.

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Early Childhood Development

Outreach Liaison Workers provide support to families and caregivers from pregnancy through the early years. The ECD program was developed to meet the needs for culturally relevant programming specific to Indigenous families and children. The Outreach Workers provide support and information to families in their homes, in the community or at the Friendship Center building upon existing parenting skills, reducing isolation and encouraging & assisting families to build a community to support them.

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Early Years Program

The Early Years Program supports families and caregivers with children ages 0-6 years old through a variety of drop-in groups throughout the week which focus on friendship, nutrition, child development, parenting information, language and cultural teachings.

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Elders Program

The Elder’s activities provide opportunities to build relationships and social support, enhance well-being, and have input into programming.

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Family Support Program

Family Support Workers assist families who are in need of more intensive support in maintaining a healthy and positive environment for their children. Family Support Workers are connected to families either through referrals by the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Usma or by self-referrals.

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Family Law Advocacy Program

This program delivers a range of family law advocacy services including legal information, referral, advocacy and assistance to individuals in the community.

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Healthycare Pregnancy Program

We are here to walk along side of you on your journey if you have used or are thinking of using a substance and feel you could use extra support.

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Outreach Legal Advocate

The primary goal of this program is to ensure quality service delivery of legal advocacy for anyone needing assistance. If we can't help you with your legal issue, we will support you in connecting with the local Legal Aid office.

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Training for Employment

We will deliver services to unemployed and/or under-employed participants with the aim to enhance their employability while testing the impact of innovative and collaborative solutions to assist in addressing a wide range of socio-economic challenges within Indigenous communities.

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Youth Drop-in Program

The primary goal of the Youth Program is to create opportunities which will support and assist Urban Aboriginal Youth in enhancing their economic, social, and personal growth.

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Mission Statement

“To support and empower our community and to provide a safe and welcoming place wherein we provide individualized, meaningful and culturally based programs and services guided by the wisdom of our Elders.”