Kinawit cultural site to modernize its infrastructure with the help of Government of Canada funding

News release

CED awards almost $750,000 to the Val‑d’Or Native Friendship Centre for the upgrading of its cultural site.

Val‑d’Or, Quebec, November 9, 2022 – Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

Shared public spaces such as our parks are at the heart of our communities. They are an important focal point, not only for residents and visitors but also for the businesses that contribute to the vitality of our regions. The pandemic has led us to rethink the organization of our public places, and the Government of Canada has a strategic vision for the creation of living environments where everyone can thrive.

Today, the Honourable Pascale St‑Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for CED, announced a $749,258 non‑repayable contribution for the Val‑d’Or Native Friendship Centre, under the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF). This funding will allow the organization to upgrade infrastructure at the Kinawit cultural site located in Val‑d’Or and install outdoor facilities to promote the practice of cultural and traditional activities.

A non‑profit organization founded in 1974, the Val‑d’Or Native Friendship Centre is a hub of urban services, a living environment and a cultural anchor for First Peoples. The Centre is dedicated to wellness, justice and social inclusion and promotes harmonious cohabitation within its community. It provides community, social, cultural and economic services, and offers a program of healing and reconciliation activities at its Kinawit site. Located 12 kilometres from downtown Val‑d’Or on the shore of Lake Lemoine, Kinawit also provides the public with opportunities for cultural immersion and creates moments of exchange and sharing between Indigenous and non‑Indigenous people.

CED’s funding will be used to set up permanent community infrastructure such as a large tipi for gatherings, an artist’s studio, a traditional trapper’s cabin and an outdoor kitchen (shaputuan).

The Government of Canada recognizes that community spaces promote social interaction and physical activity. By providing better access to recreational programs and facilities, including ones that allow Indigenous peoples to practice cultural activities, we are contributing to the well‑being of communities, families and individuals across the country. The economic recovery is closely linked to the vitality of local communities and their shared spaces.


“Our support for projects like this one by the Val‑d’Or Native Friendship Centre attests to our government’s strategic vision and its commitment to support communities in all regions of Quebec. Hats off to the Val‑d’Or Native Friendship Centre team for this initiative that fosters cohabitation and the creation of agreeable shared spaces for Indigenous people living in an urban environment and the residents of Val‑d’Or.”

The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Member of Parliament for Brome–Missisquoi, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for CED

“Kinawit is above all a place where Indigenous people can live and express their culture and transmit their traditional knowledge “on the land” in a culturally safe environment just a few kilometres from the urban centre. ‘Kinawit’ means the inclusive ‘we’ in the Anishinaabe language, and this cultural site is a place that fosters getting together, openness and sharing among the entire population. The funding from the Government of Canada is important for the realization of this project.”

Oscar Kistabish, President, Val‑d’Or Native Friendship Centre

Quick facts

  • The CCRF was launched in June 2021. A total of $500 million has been granted over two years to Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs), including $107 million for CED to invest in shared and inclusive public spaces across Quebec. As public health restrictions ease, the Government of Canada remains committed to investing in shared spaces in order to make them safer, greener and more accessible. This in turn will stimulate local economies, create jobs and improve quality of life for Canadians. This funding helps communities to
    • adapt community spaces and assets so that they may be used safely in accordance with local public health guidelines; and
    • build or improve community spaces in order to encourage Canadians to re-engage in and explore their communities and regions.
  • The CCRF is being deployed under CED’s Quebec Economic Development Program (QEDP).
  • CED is a key federal partner in Quebec’s regional economic development. With its 12 business offices, CED is present to accompany Quebec businesses, supporting organizations and regions into tomorrow’s economy.

Associated links


Media relations
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Ariane Joazard-Bélizaire
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

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