Algonquin Nation - HRSD
6 Kateri Street, Timiskaming First Nation
Notre Dame du Nord, QC. J0Z 3B0

Comité consultatif des Premières Nations et des Inuit relatif au marché du travail
Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtone du Québec       

Claudie Paul

General assistant director

Our mission and our vision

The Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec, the RCAAQ, advocates in favour of the rights and interests of urban Aboriginal citizens, while supporting the Native Friendship Centers in achieving their mission.

The mission of the Native Friendship Centers in Quebec is to improve the quality of life of urban Aboriginals, to promote culture and to help build bridges between peoples.

The Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec is comprised of Aboriginal citizens engaged in their community and who have the power to influence the public sphere and foster access to the resources required by urban Aboriginal communities to enjoy a good quality of life.

Attached to this mission, are major partners from the Quebec and Canadian civil society in addition to a number of Aboriginal, civil and community organizations.

Positioned and recognized as privileged interlocutor for urban Aboriginals by the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, the RCAAQ acts as leader of the urban Aboriginal citizen movement and implements innovative and pro-active strategies based on social economy principles.

Our history

The RCAAQ was founded for and by urban Aboriginals who wanted to give themselves a provincial concertation, coordination and representation structure. Since 1976, the RCAAQ represents the interests of the Native Friendship Centers of Quebec.

The variety of individuals who make up the movement is reflective in the mission of the RCAAQ which is oriented towards the individual and collective wellbeing through a community approach. This approach takes into account the cultural, social, economic and political development of First Nations and Inuit of Quebec.

The RCAAQ is a concertation, communication and exchange structure, a place for reflection and an anchoring point for Native Friendship Centers in Quebec and as such can be an efficient spokesperson before the Federal, Provincial and Native entities and Aboriginal organizations. The RCAAQ expresses its citizen involvement through the submission of briefs and advisory reports to the Government of Quebec on homelessness, housing, youth protection, sustainable development and any other area of concern for urban Aboriginal citizens.

The history of the RCAAQ shows well how all of the stakeholders in the movement have worked on a daily basis towards meeting the urgent needs resulting from the emergence of those new urban Aboriginal communities. Each Native Friendship Center has become, in the heart of the urban sphere, an incubator for initiatives, a privileged space to express the needs and claims of a not insignificant portion of the Aboriginal population.

The Centres provide specialized and culturally-relevant services that communities do not offer and which must – in the heart of a non-Aboriginal urban setting – allow for the advocacy of the Aboriginal dignity and cultural identity, regardless of the Nation of origin.

The RCAAQ offers an array of services to over 18,700 First Nation members, Inuit and Métis of Quebec. It mobilizes over one hundred volunteers. It provides sustainable employment to over 165 persons, reaches 1250 youth and offers a homework assistance service (children aged 6 to 12) in partnership with 27 French-speaking schools. It conducts research work and studies, produces briefs on racism and discrimination, sustainable development, the Youth Protection Act, etc. It is at the heart not only of the Aboriginal collective assertion effort but also of the Aboriginal will to address today’s issues.