A new space to build community and friendship

by | May 2, 2023

Opening of second facility gives the 50+ year old Saskatoon

Indian Metis Friendship Centre room to grow

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN, May 2, 2023 — The Saskatoon Indian Metis Friendship Centre (SIMFC) has acquired an additional building in Saskatoon. The new facility will increase operational capacity by approximately 30%, and centralize and expand upon the Centre’s community programming.

“The expansion of our facilities in Saskatoon is all about sustainability—of our resources, our community, and our culture,” said Raymond Laliberte, Executive Director, Saskatoon Indian and Metis Friendship Centre. “Our Friendship Centre has been the front line in supporting Indigenous people and vulnerable members of our community since it opened in 1968. This announcement is thanks to the thousands of community leaders, members, supporters, and volunteers who have joined us in friendship to help build on our shared cultural foundations.”

The new Friendship Centre facility will enhance client experience, improve the quality of health and safety for staff and clients, and support the expansion of SIMFC’s programming in the community. Dedicated, culturally-safe spaces have been designed to accommodate the organization’s future strategy, growth, and partnership opportunities.

This is the second facility for SIMFC in the city of Saskatoon. The new facility will be used to house administrative services, freeing up substantial space in the original building for programming and outreach. It will be operational by summer 2024.

“Our goal for this expansion was to increase capacity in order to provide more access and opportunities for the vulnerable community members we serve,” said Darrel Burnouf, Board Chair, Saskatoon Indian and Metis Friendship Centre. “Utilizing existing commercial space in the city of Saskatoon was the most efficient, sustainable solution to enable us to grow our programming and meet the increased demand in the community.”

SIMFC was able to acquire the new facility thanks to funding from Indigenous Services Canada.

“For more than 50 years, the Saskatoon Indian and Metis Friendship Centre has been at the heart of the community. With an investment of $4.7 million from Indigenous Services Canada, the Centre’s new building means a better space to include more people and programs. Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to make this vision a reality,” said the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services.

Supporting facts:

  • SIMFC serves an average of 1,200 daily walk-ins or drop-in clients
  • 12,000 clients accessed the food security program in 2022
  • SIMFC conducts between 10-15 diverse cultural, youth, family, and professional skills programs, serving more than 30,000 community members annually
  • Indigenous Services Canada provided $4.7 million for this project

Learn more about SIMFC at simfc.ca