Our Programs

About Our Centre and Our Programs

The Niagara Regional Native Centre (NRNC) was incorporated on October 9, 1974 and is, currently one of 27 members of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC). The NRNC serves the urban Indigenous community from Niagara Falls to Grimsby.

The NRNC is a charitable, not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote the development of the Indigenous community by identifying and addressing the needs of the community, developing competencies, and promoting a better understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

The objectives of the NRNC are to:

  • Promote awareness of the culture of Indigenous peoples within the community in an effort to establish a relationship of mutual understanding and respect between the Indigenous peoples and the other members of the community.
  • Advance, foster, encourage and promote the cultural and social interests of Indigenous peoples, both collectively and individually.
  • Organize projects and carry out programs to alleviate and minimize, wherever possible, adverse social and economic conditions encountered by Indigenous people in order to affect a general improvement in their overall welfare and well-being.
  • Promote Indigenous leadership in the Indigenous community.

Supportive Transitional Housing

Abbey House Transitional Home

Abbey House is a 5 bedroom secured residence in a quiet residential area. The aims of the house are to provide a safe opportunity for transitional living for Indigenous women, with or without children, who are experiencing crisis in their lives. Abbey House will support women and their children to overcome crisis and homelessness by assisting them to achieve emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical well-being.

Urban Indigenous Homeward Bound

An integrated, innovative wrap-around model of support to help inadequately housed or homeless Indigenous mother-led families earn college diplomas, start careers and achieve economic self-sufficiency.  The 4-year program is in early stages of implementation.  The housing model includes on-site day care. Location search in St. Catharines.

Given the unique cultural, historical and demographic context of Ontario’s urban Indigenous communities, and the distinct challenges faced by urban Indigenous single mothers living in poverty, Friendship Centres adapted the WoodGreen Homeward Bound model into the Urban Indigenous Homeward Bound. This project will address the unique needs and challenges of homeless and precariously housed urban Indigenous single mothers living in poverty in seven of Ontario’s Friendship Centre communities. 

At the same time, early years and child care have become clear priorities of both the federal and provincial governments. At both levels, significant policy commitments have been made to make child care more accessible for all Canadians. At the same time the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has pushed Indigenous child care and development into the national consciousness. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called on federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments to “develop culturally appropriate early childhood education programs for Aboriginal families.”  [1]


Family and Health

Aboriginal Healthy Babies/Healthy Children

The overall goal is to assist all Indigenous families to provide the best opportunities for health development for children 0-6 years of age through education, family home visiting, and service coordination and referrals. An equally important objective is to ensure that the programme addresses the needs of children at risk, and to ensure that they have access to services and support that will address their needs.

Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program

The goal of the off-reserve CPNP is to improve the health of Indigenous mothers, fathers and their babies up to one year of age and their families that live off reserve. CPNP will provide food supplements, counselling, support, education, referral to other services and counselling for at-risk pregnant women. Counselling can be on any lifestyle issues that can affect the baby, such as smoking, alcohol use, and family violence.

Community Action Program for Children

The goal of the off-reserve Indigenous component of CAP-C is to strengthen families, communities, support community development, and healing. CAP-C will assist organizations to design and deliver community based, culturally relevant programmes that aim to improve the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of off-reserve Indigenous children.

Akwe:go - Urban Native Children

The goal of the Akwe:go programme is to provide urban Indigenous children between the ages of 7-12 with the support, tools and healthy activities which will build upon and foster their inherent ability to make healthy choices. Includes provision of social supports to address poverty-related self-esteem issues, victimization issues and peer pressure to engage in unhealthy behaviours;    Outreach to children in care to increase support and culturally appropriate services to non-native adoptive and foster parents;    Promotion of health and physical development to address inter-related health impacts of poverty, diabetes, and childhood obesity; Form interventions or alternatives to institutional involvement (i.e., child welfare and justice systems); and support children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and disabilities that are at-risk of additional challenges.

Children’s Mental Health Program

This program will serve self-identified Indigenous children and youth between the ages of 7-15 who are at-risk or high-risk and their families. Including individuals diagnosed with mental illness or mental health conditions. Mental health initiatives involve to provision of community-based, non-residential activities and services for individuals and/or families that are culturally appropriate, culturally competent, complement and link to existing services or programs to continue to build service capacity at the community level.   


The goal of the Wasa-Nabin programme is to provide urban Indigenous at-risk youth ages 13 - 18 with the support, tools, and healthy activities, which will build upon and foster their inherent ability to make healthy choices.    Provision of social supports to address poverty-related self-esteem issues, victimization issues and peer pressure to engage in unhealthy behaviours;    Outreach to youth in care to increase support and culturally appropriate services to non-native adoptive and foster parents;    Promotion of health and physical development to address inter-related health impacts of poverty, diabetes, and obesity;    From the development of educational support through homework support, school suspension support, and have available direct access to computers and literacy program.

Ganigohi:yo  (The Good Mind)

Dedicated to empower Indigenous children and youth to discover and honour all aspects of their mental well-being while promoting resiliency and positive self-efficacy.  Includes voluntary holistic healing, therapeutic counselling for ages 7 – 17, early intervention, crisis intervention and supportive services. Family support, plans of care, referrals, advocacy and one to one mental health support.

Urban Aboriginal Healthy Living Children

The program is designed to keep kids and youth active and learning healthy eating habits.  Address barriers to organized community sports.  All activities are inclusive of family and help to build healthy relationships/increase the participation of urban Indigenous children and youth 6 – 16.

Aboriginal Healing and Wellness

AHWS has three objectives: To improve the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of Indigenous people and communities in Ontario; to address and respond to violence in Indigenous communities in Ontario; and, to support the development of an Indigenous network of healing and wellness-related programmes and services in Ontario that are designed, developed, delivered and governed by Indigenous people.

Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin (I Am A Kind Man)

Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin is an initiative created to provide an opportunity for communities to engage Indigenous men and youth in understanding violence against Indigenous women and support them in joining together to end the violence.  Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin is an Ojibway phrase that translates to “I Am a Kind Man”.  Includes peer counselling, justice support, traditional teachings and group based programs.

Aboriginal Health Outreach

The Health Outreach Worker is responsible for ensuring that the health needs of the Indigenous community are addressed by undertaking health promotion, education, referrals and linking with Indigenous cultural resource people and mainstream health providers.

Urban Aboriginal Healthy Living

The program is designed to increase the participation of urban Indigenous people in sports, physical fitness, physical recreation and other health promotion programs that promote healthy lifestyle behaviours.

Life Long Care

The Life Long Care Programme (LLCP) provides community-based culturally appropriate long-term care community support services to urban Indigenous elderly, frail, physically disabled, chronically ill individuals. This programme promotes an integrated response, community participation, independent living, and an improved quality of life. In addition, the programme strives to ensure quality of care and appropriate support systems for their caregivers

Education to Employment

Alternative Secondary School Program

In partnership with the Niagara Catholic District School Board, NRNC launched this program for students aged 14 – 21 and is located at the St. John’s Conservation site. Transportation is provided. Grades 9-12.

Literacy and Basic Skills

The program is designed to assist anyone who wishes to upgrade their skills to improve their independence, learn computer basics, obtain Secondary School credits, improve job training skills or further their education. We offer one-to-one or small group training, or online classes. Target population: 18 and older, out of school for over a year.

Literacy and Basic Skills is supported by Employment Ontario.


Apatisiwin designs and delivers programmes to assist Indigenous people to find, obtain, and maintain employment, to assist in finding job placements, to assist financially to enable youth to stay in school, to assist with trades training, to assist with upgrading. Target population: Ages 15 and up, College/university students, unemployed and EI recipients.


Three Fires Community Justice

The OFIFC Community Justice Programme is an initiative developed in response to needs expressed by Indigenous people who have been through the courts (criminal, youth and family) and to the broad over-representation of Indigenous peoples in the mainstream justice system. The Community Justice Programme is built on the Aboriginal Court-worker Council Support Coordinator Programme. Community Justice Programmes are developed in communities that have undergone a comprehensive needs assessment and where funding has been made available.  Target: 12 and up, engaged in the justice system. 


[1] Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, Briefing: Homeward Bound