St. John’s Native Friendship Centre

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716 Water Street
St. John’s, NL A1E 1C1

Tel: (709) 726-5902                          Shelter: (709) 726-5970
Fax: (709) 722-0874                         Email:


To serve the Aboriginal and broader community through celebration and support of Aboriginal culture and the provision of appropriate programs and services delivered in an atmosphere of trust, respect and friendship

Target Population:

Aboriginals and Non-Aboriginals

Highlight of Programs / Services Offered:

  • Inuit Gathering Circle: Gathering to share, learn, embrace and practice traditional Inuit culture, language and heritage while promoting healthy relationships and lifestyles. Registration required!
  • Community Cultural Circle (Wednesdays 6:00pm-7:30 pm): Participants engage in traditional ceremony that includes traditional drum making, all nations singing and drumming, and practicing the use of traditional medicines and talking circles. Everyone is welcome, regardless of culture or age!
  • Men’s Drumming (Wednesdays 7:30-9 pm): All men of any culture are invited to come participate in our men’s drum group. (18+)
  • Free Fitness: Women’s Zumba (Thursdays 6-7 pm), Yoga – Open to men and women (16+)(Tuesday, 5:30pm-6:30pm), Volleyball (September-March (Weekly) and April-August, 1st Sunday of the month at 2pm). **Those interested in playing competitively may register for one of three SJNFC competitive teams. Competitive teams also play each Monday in the St. John’s Metro Volleyball League.
  • Tea & Sharing (Thursdays 2-4 pm): Participants are given a safe and welcoming environment where they can interact with peers, share experiences, and learn from others. Each week has a themed activity or outing, aimed to celebrate culture.
  • Mi’kMaq Women’s Circle (1st and 3rd Tuesdays – 7-9 pm): Women of all cultures are welcome to come and learn about Mi’kmaq culture, traditions, crafts, and community. It is asked that you try to wear a skirt (or a scarf wrapped around your waist) to honour the ancestors. This group is led by the St. John’s Aboriginal Women’s Circle.
  • Community Craft (Tuesday from 2-4pm): This program focuses on the use of traditional materials to make items like Ornaments, jewelry, mittens, dreamcatchers, and moccasins. Participants are to respect the natural materials, and the time and care it takes to create each item. This time is sometimes used on larger SJNFC projects such as the Faceless Dolls Project (missing and murdered Women and Children), preparing for pride parade or Powwow.
  • Youth Employment Services: The St. John’s Native Friendship Centre offers employment services to youth members. The program aims to assist individuals in the successful completion of education, attaining employment, as well as enhancing the necessary skills for future career aspirations.
  • Youth Drumming: Turtle Island Youth realize the importance and significance of drumming in Aboriginal culture. Teachings on the drum are provided to youth at an early age, creating an appreciation for tradition and spirituality. Youth learn rhythmic beats of the drum, chants, and differences between songs for healing and songs for entertainment.
  • Play Group (Wednesdays, 10:00am-12:00pm): This activity is for parents/caregivers and children (5 years of age and under) to meet in a safe welcoming space for family fun intended to honor and embrace the Aboriginal culture.
  • Turtle Island Summer Camp: The Turtle Island Summer Program is an 8 week summer camp for children between the ages of 5-12. The program provides a summer filled with fun activities that follow a theme for each day of the week for 8 weeks. Registration is required for this program.
  • After School Program: There are 3 components to the afterschool program:
    The Royal Eagles Backpack program: Returning to school in the fall can be a very stressful time for students and their families. Often, a major stressor is the added expense of school supplies.
    Healthy Snack Program: Funded by the Kids Eat Smart Foundation, the Healthy Snack Program provides participants with a nutritional snack daily.
    Homework Program: September to June, Monday to Friday staff are available between the hours of 2:00pm-4:00pm for homework help or tutoring. Tutoring occurs at the request of parents or youth. Staff are available to work one on one with youth to help meet their individual needs.
  • Employment and Housing Services: We help community members prepare for their future with employment and housing services. This program is aimed at helping our Shelter Clients move on to the next stage in their lives while providing them with the support services necessary for a successful transition.
  • Aboriginal Diversity Training: The Aboriginal CUltural Diversity Training is a workshop designed to increase knowledge, enhance awareness, and strengthen the skills of those who work both directly and indirectly with the Aboriginal community.
  • Shanawdithit Shelter: The Shanawdithit Shelter is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can accommodate up to 23 people requiring temporary housing. The Shelter, while open to all people, is primarily geared towards the particular needs of the visiting Aboriginal community who are in St. John’s temporarily for medical services.
  • Aboriginal Arts Program: This program  promotes the province’s rich Aboriginal Culture through visual and performing arts. The St. John’s Native Friendship Centre has an on-site outlet which exhibits artwork available for purchase from local Aboriginal artists.Art items are often displayed and sold at community events in St. John’s and across the province.
  • Transportation
  • Healing Circle
  • Spirit Horse
  • Counselling
  • Cultural Support
  • Aboriginal Patient Navigator Program: a link between Aboriginal communities and Eastern Health care providers.