New cultural facility in Toronto will help people find their identity again says supervisor


The Indigenous population in Toronto now has a new cultural facility.

The Malvern Aboriginal Child and Family Centre will serve as a community gathering place.

Michelle Meawasige, supervisor of the center said it’s been a long time coming.

“It’s about realizing what was lost and connecting to that again, to finding people, to finding oneself because identities have been lost,” she said.

The Native Child and Family Services of Toronto hosted a grand opening this week to celebrate the new site.

Due to pandemic restrictions, the centre had to be opened virtually, starting with a traditional smudge, pray and a pre-recorded drum opening.

According to Jeffrey Schiffer, executive director, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, it will be a multi service community hub where the core of the program will be for ages 0 to 6 years.

“We also offer a number of other services here, we have youth supports, clinical support, we have food security programming and then we’re going to see a number of community and cultural events like community kitchens,” he said.

Toronto Mayor John Tory joined the event to congratulate every one for their hard work and commitment.

“I’m so pleased to see the results of the city’s partnerships with Native Child and Family Services of Toronto,” he said.

“It creates this new early on child and families that are right within their own community hub, this new center is a demonstration of our commitment to serving our large and growing indigenous population.”

For now, all programs are being offered virtually, but everyone is excited for the day when they can come and see the new center for themselves said Meawasige.

Annette Francis

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