Nawican means “Native White Canadian.” In 1966 local volunteers saw a need to bridge the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the community. They raised their own funds through bingos and donations and went into the schools and surrounding communities to promote the Friendship Centre movement. The Centre became incorporated August 5th, 1971.
MISSION AND MANDATE
To promote friendship and understanding between all citizens of the South Peace River District. To provide counselling, information, guidance, recreational, and educational programming for the comfort and betterment of Dawson Creek and area. To encourage greater participation of people of Indigenous origin in community affairs and activities with a goal of strengthening mutual understanding. To encourage and promote community development.
The Nawican Friendship Centre is a welcoming and a safe gathering place for the urban indigenous families of Dawson Creek and neighbouring communities. The Centre has a positive and hopeful culture and people of other cultures feel welcome and take part in the life of the Centre.
The Nawican Friendship Centre has a proactive, stable and cohesive Board and staff. Skill development and accountability are strong features of the Centre. The Centre is a place for people to learn and to receive support in becoming empowered. The membership has a strong presence in the community and they show respect, pride and ownership in their dealings with the Centre. People associated with the Centre have a good understanding of the programmes offered through the Centre.
The Nawican Friendship Centre is recognised in the community as a key partner in the planning for and in the delivery of services to support people in Dawson Creek. Staff is a core component of the network of professionals supporting individuals and families in Dawson Creek. The Centre is part of an effective network of Friendship Centres in Canada and particularly in British Columbia.