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Nelligan O'Brien Payne gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Suzanne Dunn, Student-at-Law in writing this blog post.

Nelligan O’Brien Payne’s Indigenous law group serves First Nation and Inuit organizations on issues that are of major importance to Indigenous Communities.

Supporting the Indigenous community is a collective effort and involves a variety of resources.

Our group recognizes the value of the work done at the community level and would like to highlight community-based organizations that promote the enhancement of Indigenous rights and values. Below is one example of an important local resource that provides services to the Indigenous community.

The Odawa Native Friendship Centre is a non-profit organization providing services to the Aboriginal community in the Ottawa-Carleton Region of Eastern Ontario and the surrounding area. It has been operating since 1975 and provides diverse programming to suit the needs of the urban Aboriginal community.

Their mission is:

To enhance the quality of life for Aboriginal people in the Capital region. To maintain a tradition of community, an ethic of self-help and development as well as to provide traditional teachings from our elders.

Odawa provides services and programs that are available to people of all ages, and their motto is “Everyone is Welcome”. It has programming aimed at benefiting the lives of Aboriginal babies, youth, adults and elders.

Their diverse services include cultural activities such as the Odawa Annual Pow-Wow held each May, Traditional Drumming and Dancing, and Ojibway language classes. Community services include Odawa Sweetgrass Home Childcare Agency, employment training and referrals, and a bi-weekly free legal clinic for individuals receiving legal aid.

Their programming aims to reinforce Aboriginal cultural development and provide spaces, such as the Annual Summer Odawa Pow Wow, for awareness and interaction with other cultures. Through their programming they promote positive images of Aboriginals by modeling self-respect and cultural expression. Individuals who partake in their programming will develop skills, knowledge and leadership relevant to the Aboriginal community.

To support Odawa you can partake in many of their fundraising events, including a service that delivers Indian tacos, soup and bannock to your workplace. 

To find out more you can visit their website at http://www.odawa.on.ca or stop by the centre itself. It is located at 250 City Centre Ave in Ottawa, and you also can reach them at 613-722-3811.

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2021 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

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