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Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre partnership with Co-op to enhance community services

June 29, 2023

The Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre (SIMFC) is pleased to announce a partnership with Saskatoon Co-op and Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) that will aid in SIMFC’s mission of providing culturally distinct community services that support First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in Saskatoon and surrounding areas.

"We work to improve the quality of life for Indigenous peoples in Saskatoon and we are extremely pleased to join in this new relationship with Co-op, to focus on serving vulnerable and high-risk populations in our community,” says Darrel Burnouf, SIMFC chairman.

The partnership includes funding to support the delivery and development of community services related to weather strategies, survivor and hygiene packs and to aid in the purchase of a passenger van which allows for mobile services and the ability to better meet the needs of the community.

“FCL is committed to building sustainable communities, and we are pleased to be partnering with an organization that shares this commitment," says Shauna Wilkinson, FCL’s Vice President of People and Culture. “We believe the work that the SIMFC is doing to support the cultural and physical needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuit community members in Saskatoon, and similarly, the work of Friendship Centres across Canada, is truly making a difference and we are so proud to join in the great work that is happening in our community.”

The groups took part in an event today to celebrate the exciting new relationship between Co-op and SIMFC. In attendance were SIMFC Elder, Sanford Strongarm Sr., Raymond Laliberte, SIMFC Executive Director, leaders from Saskatoon Co-op and FCL, along with a host of community members.

“We are extremely proud of this partnership that exemplifies our commitment to investing in and supporting our community and furthers our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation,” says Gerald Hiebert, CEO, Saskatoon Co-op. “Our ability to forge impactful local partnerships is part of what makes Co-op special. We look forward to learning from and working with the Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre and hope other Co-ops across Western Canada are inspired to take similar actions.”

In addition to funding, team members from Saskatoon Co-op will also be volunteering their time to help support the Friendship Centre’s vital food security and basic needs programming.