Native Friendship Centre expands its role
Centre adds focus on arts and culture
The Native Friendship Centre in Montreal is expanding its role in the community to become a showcase for native culture.
The centre has been offering social services for aboriginals in Montreal since 1974.
Now the centre could become a cultural hot spot too, said social worker Joey Saganash.
"Native people, First Nations, and Inuit people, we're about art and culture and traditions," he said. "And we're about sharing them too."
Located next to the Quartier des spectacles, Saganash said the centre is in an ideal spot bring people in.
He said they hope to attract about 100 people a day to take in cultural events or shop at the centre's new store.
Sculptor Eugene Jankowski has been teaching First Nations children how to carve for years. Now, for the first time, the work his pupils create is for sale at the friendship centre.
"For me it's an achievement," he said. "Because I find that not only am I teaching, but I'm useful to the community."
Jankowski said students will keep half of the proceeds, with the other half going to purchase material for future carvings.