Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre
The creation of Indian reserves starting in the 1950s forced the Algonquins them to adopt a sedentary way of life, even when the process started in the 19th century, when the advance of settlement pushed the Algonquins further inland.
Today there are nine Algonquin communities in Quebec: three in the Abitibi region, four in the Temiscamingue region, one in the Reserve faunique La Verendrye and one near Maniwaki. Another First Nation, the Cree, is also well represented in Val-d'Or. The Cree originally come from the James Bay region and live in nine communities.
The Native Friendship Centre has been at the heart of this thriving community in Val-d'Or for over thirty years. Its aim is to enhance the quality of life of the Aboriginal population living permanently or on a temporary basis in Val-d'Or, promote Native culture and foster harmonious relations between Natives and non-Natives.
As a place where several First Nations converge, the Native Friendship Centre provides non-Natives with a view of Native art and culture. Visitors are swept into Native culture and history thanks to the Ashumiih Akawi Minicin Anishnabe Aki exhibit which, through pictures and texts, provides a present-day history of the Cree and Algonquin peoples in Val-d’Or.