Volunteering is an excellent resource for gaining job experience, exploring career options and giving back to the community. SFU’s volunteer services provide excellent opportunities and information about how to get started with volunteering as well as various not-for-profit community organizations that are continually on the lookout for volunteers.
As Indigenous students we may want to volunteer for organizations that work toward the betterment of Aboriginal communities. I have compiled a list of off-campus Aboriginal services in Vancouver whose organizations are in need of volunteers.
Aboriginal Physical Activity & Cultural Circle
“The Aboriginal Physical Activity and Cultural Circle (APACC) is a network for Aboriginal people who are involved in Sports, Recreation, Fitness and Traditional Activities. APACC is a registered non-profit organization. The APACC mission is to create a community of mentors, leaders, participants, and supporters who promote physical activity as a way to health and wellness.”
Address: 6520 Salish Drive, Vancouver, BC
Broadway Youth Resource Centre
“Open since 1999, Broadway Youth Resource Centre (BYRC) is an integrated one-stop centre that provides a wide range of social, health, education, employment and life skills services to homeless and at-risk youth between the ages of 12 and 24.”
Locations found throughout the lower mainland.
Coastal First Nations
“For the past decade the Coastal First Nations has charted a course that has strengthened the connections between our communities, our environment, and our economy. The Coastal First Nations model supports the re-emergence of a sustainable economy while taking into account the cultural and ecological diversity of the Great Bear Rainforest.
We have developed land use plans that provide ecosystem-based management over our Traditional Territories, created conservancy areas and special protection areas. Our communities are also in the process of developing marine use plans, implementing economic opportunities in renewable energy, carbon credits, forestry, ecotourism, non-timber forest products and shellfish aquaculture.”
Address: Suite 1660-409 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC
Coastal Guardian Watchmen Network
“As First Nations we govern our ancestral traditional territories and safeguard the health of our ecosystems. We are the Guardians and Watchmen of our territories. We are men and women carrying forward the work of our ancestors to manage and respect our lands and waters through our traditional laws to ensure a vibrant future for generations to come. We work with our neighbouring Nations to create a united and collective presence within our territories. From the Central Coast to the North Coast and Haida Gwaii, we are working together to monitor, protect and restore the cultural and natural resources in our territories."
As the Guardian and Watchmen of our ancestral traditional territories we will steward our marine and terrestrial natural and cultural resources to ensure that they are sustainably managed. As the Guardian and Watchmen of our ancestral traditional territories we will steward our marine and terrestrial natural and cultural resources to ensure that they are sustainably managed. To this effect:
We will monitor commercial and recreational activities on the North and Central Coast;
We will gather data on the ecological health and wellbeing of our ancestral traditional territories;
We will compile and share data that we gather in order to inform decision-making in our ancestral traditional territories;
We will have the authority to carry out compliance and enforcement;
We will have a strong presence throughout our territories so that resource users regularly encounter and interact with us;
We will have access to secure funding to support ongoing year-round Guardian/Watchmen programs in our communities;
We will play an active role in community outreach and education regarding the protection of our cultural and natural resources; and
We will work with the federal and provincial government (through management agreements that respect the title and rights of First Nations) to ensure coordinated and robust monitoring and enforcement throughout our territories.
We derive our authority and jurisdiction from our traditional laws to manage and safeguard the lands and waters of our territories for the health of future generations.
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dancing to Eagle Spirit Society
“Dancing To Eagle Spirit Society is dedicated to the healing and empowerment of aboriginal and non-aboriginal two-spirit individuals and their allies . The society seeks to honour the dignity of the individual, building personal and community self esteem by addressing physical, emotional, psycho-social and spiritual needs using traditional Native American ways and culture.”
Address: 309-2326 Eton St.
Federation of Aboriginal Foster Parents
“British Columbia's Federation of Aboriginal Foster Parents was formed to meet the unique needs of caregivers of Aboriginal children, and the needs of communities for targeted development, recruitment, and training of Aboriginal foster families.
Funded by the Ministry for Children and Family Development, the Federation reflects the governments desire to embark on a new path of co-operation with Aboriginal peoples.
Comprised of caregivers of Aboriginal children representing various geographical regions of the province, the Federation strives to create a model of Aboriginal foster care that all British Columbians can take pride in."
Address: 3455 Kaslo Street
First Nations Employment Society
“FNES concentrates on community based partnerships that focus on RESULTS . First Nations share a common vision: to increase Aboriginal participation and success in the labour market
The First Nations Employment Society was incorporated as a non-profit society in April 1997 and provides leadership in developing Aboriginal Human Resources at a regional level.
First Nations Employment Society (FNES) represents ten First Nations as well as on/off reserve people residing in the Vancouver Sunshine Coast areas. FNES manages an agreement with Service Canada on behalf of the ten First Nations with delegated authority for training and employment in the Vancouver Sunshine Coast region of British Columbia.
First Nations Employment Society is always striving to improve labour market outcomes for all Aboriginal people living in their service areas.”
395 Railway Street, Vancouver, BC
Closed 12pm to 1pm for lunch
Healing Our Spirit BC Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Society
“The mission statement of Healing Our Spirit BC Aboriginal HIV/AID Society is to increase the awareness of HIV and AIDS in aboriginal Communities using the traditional approach to healing the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual parts of being.”
Address: 137-East 4th Ave.
Helping Spirit Lodge Society
“Helping Spirit Lodge Society is the leading Aboriginal women's organization in the Lower Mainland to alleviate family violence and enhance community wellness through a traditional, holistic approach.
To provide safe, protective shelter to Aboriginal women and children
To provide holistic educational programs of enhancement
To provide support and advocacy to Aboriginal people”
McCreary Centre Society
“The McCreary Centre Society is a non-government not-for-profit committed to improving the health of BC youth through research, education and community based projects. Founded in 1977, the Society sponsors and promotes a wide range of activities and research to identify and address the health needs of young people in the province.
The society takes its name from the late Dr. J.F. McCreary, a pediatrician and medical administrator, whose leadership in promoting inter-professional teaching and multi-disciplinary approaches in health care set a standard that the society seeks to emulate.”
Address: 3552 Hastings Street E.
Native Investment & Trade Association
“NITA is an Aboriginal non-profit association formed in 1989. The organization is dedicated to encouraging Aboriginal self-reliance by promoting participation in mainstream enterprise. NITA is committed to improving the lives or ordinary Aboriginal folk, Canadians or people by “investing in self-reliance” (NITA's motto) through strengthening Aboriginal participation in the economy. Since its inception, NITA has operated independent of any core government funding and has sought through its operation to be an example of Aboriginal self-sufficiency. Taken as a whole, NITA is a communications organization with the ability to reach and encourage constructive dialogue and direct business activity with every sector of the Aboriginal community.”
Toll Free: 1-800-337-7743
Address: 6520 Salish Drive, Vancouver, BC
Pacific Association of First Nations Women
“Our vision is to provide quality care and support networks that promote and sustain a vibrant and healthy lifestyle, while also preserving our rich cultural heritage, and strengthening the bonds of our people through ongoing advocacy. While assisting First Nations women socially and culturally, we endeavour to enhance their health and welfare, and encourage individual growth and development."
We aim to:
Promote, establish and maintain communications and information sharing between First Nations women, womens' groups, and all levels of government in British Columbia.
Provide a hollistic social, spiritual, psychological, and educational support network for First Nations women.
Research and identify civic and social welfare issues that impact the health and well-being of First Nations women in British Columbia, including healthcare, justice, family violence, and housing.
Pacific Community Resources
“The agency provides alternate education, employment, addiction counselling and prevention services, housing support, and cultural enrichment for children, youth, adults and families.
We partner with individuals, businesses, other agencies and governments to ensure access to effective, high-quality community resources for people who are often vulnerable or marginalized from society.
Pacific Community Resources is committed to community-based research, advocacy, and community development to identify service gaps and strategies to address social problems such as poverty, child abuse, mental health, substance abuse, violence and homelessness.
We currently deliver more than 40 programs serving thousands of individuals from Vancouver to Chilliwack.”
Address: #201-2830 Grandview Highway, Vancouver, BC
The Minerva Foundation for BC Women
To change the Face of Leadership in BC
To elevate the visibility, influence and contribution of women leaders
Inclusiveness: We are a community of women and men who embrace diversity in leadership
Accountability: We believe that with opportunity comes responsibility to make a difference.
Collaboration: We believe in building community networks and collaborative partnerships to share resources and opportunities
Innovation: We value creativity, courage and growth
Authenticity: We help women to voice and live their values"
Address: Suite 320-111 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC
Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs
One of the main principles of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs is that, despite our differences, we will be stronger if we work together. The goal of the UBCIC is to support the work of our people, whether at the community, nation or international level, in our common fight for the recognition of our aboriginal rights and respect for our cultures and societies. Our goal, the goal of the people, has been to give the aboriginal people of BC a voice strong enough to be heard in every corner of the world. We have, and we continue, to carry out this mission in a number of different ways.
Another major principle behind our organization is the belief that knowledge is power. We are dedicated to information-sharing as well as to the fostering of fundamental and necessary research skills for Indian people in the province.
to improve intertribal relationships through common strategies to protect our Aboriginal Title
to hold the federal government to its fiduciary obligations and have them change their extinguishment policy
to support our peoples at regional, national and international forums
to continue to defend our Aboriginal Title through the revival of our way of life (political, social, economic and spiritual)
to build trust, honour and respect so we may achieve security and liberty in our lifetime and continue the healing and reconciliation (decolonization) of our Nations
Address: 500-342 Water Street, Vancouver, BC
Urban Native Youth Association
“As Metro Vancouver's only Native youth program-providing organization, we work to empower Native youth through our 21 programs which include education & training, personal support, live-in programs, and sports & recreation. Each program works with different age groups. Our work also includes community development, training, research, educational materials, and advocacy. Our main goal is to provide opportunities that can help Native youth to reach their full potential and personal goals.”
Address: 1718 East Hastings Streer, Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Society
Our Philosophy of Service Delivery
We ensure that the rights, safety, well-being and spirit of Aboriginal children and families are upheld, honored and protected.
We strive to eliminate oppression, discrimination and marginalization within our community.
We acknowledge and honor the inherent wisdom, capacity and resourcefulness of our community in designing programs and services to care for our own children and families. Accordingly, we are dedicated to planning, developing, and implementing creative and innovative aboriginal programs and services in collaboration with members of our community and other agencies.
Toll Free: 1-877-982-2377
Address: 745 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre
“Since 1963, the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society (VAFCS) has been meeting the needs of aboriginal people making a transition to the urban Vancouver community. The Friendship Centre, a charitable organization provides programs in health, welfare, social services, human rights, culture, education, recreation and equality for all genders of aboriginal people of all age groups. The Friendship Centre emphasizes the philosophies and values of varied aboriginal cultures and traditions.With over 50 years of providing essential services to the urban aboriginal community, the VAFCS has helped families, youth, adults, elders and children maintain their aboriginal cultural ties and values. The VAFCS has also helped aboriginal people access education, housing needs and support for families. The Friendship Centre strives to provide holistic and cultural services to all of its community members.”
Address: 1607 E. Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Native Health Society
“Vancouver Native Health Society (VNHS) was established in 1991 with a mission to improve and promote the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of individuals, focusing on the Aboriginal community residing in Greater Vancouver.
Today, Vancouver Native Health Society delivers comprehensive medical, counselling and social services generally to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Aboriginal community. The majority of our clients struggle with overlapping issues and con-current health issues such as substance abuse, mental health, chronic disease, homelessness and poverty.”
Address: 449 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC