Though not going under the name of Friendship Centre, Flin Flon’s first “centre of friendship” was encompassed in the home and person of the late Nancy (granny) Cadotte. For many years, her home was the focal point for Aboriginal people traveling to Flin Flon. At the age of 78, Granny Cadotte retired, leaving a great need to be filled.
The idea of a Friendship Centre then originated in 1964. Studies indicated that a combination Friendship Centre and Hostel would address our community needs. Donations from service clubs and a bank loan backed by local citizens provided the necessary capital to purchase property. The Friendship Centre opened in May 1966, incorporating under the Companies Act with the province of Manitoba April 28th 1967.
Flin Flon Indian-Metis Friendship Centre
The Friendship Centre originated in 1966 at this location at 51 Church Street. Pictured here is Christina Reed welcoming visitors. Christina is the wife of Jack Reed, one of the Centre’s Executive Directors.
The Friendship Centre was incorporated on April 28, 1967.
The next Friendship Centre site was located at the old Salvation Army building at 57 Church Street. The Centre is still at this site, boasting a brand new building which celebrated its Grand Opening on May 4, 1990.
Nancy (Granny) Cadotte
Though not going under the name of Friendship Centre, Flin Flon’s first “Centre of Friendship” was encompassed in the home and person of the late Nancy (Granny) Cadotte. For many years her home was the focal point for transient native people in the area. Honored by the City of Flin Flon in 1966, in the words of the Mayor: “Money could never repay you for your unselfish dedication to the Native People, nor for the good work you have done in the community.” Plagued by ill health, at the age of 78, Granny Cadotte was forced to retire and left a great need to be filled.
The idea of a Friendship Centre in Flin Flon originated with the local Labor Council in 1964. There was a definite need for a hostel for migrating native people. A year of study into this need brought forth that there should be a combination hostel and Friendship Centre. Subsequent events proved the originators of this idea planned better than they knew.
An effort was made to rent premises, but a year and many disappointments later, it was obvious that the only way Flin Flon would ever have a Friendship Centre was to buy a building. Some donations from service clubs, and a large bank loan backed by local citizens, provided the necessary capital. The property was purchased in the spring of 1966 and the Centre opened its doors for business in May of that year.
Ideally located, just one block from the main business section of the city, the Centre’s proximity to the Clinic, Hospital, Library and shopping facilities has proved a boon to all concerned.
Mrs. Granny Cadotte is flanked by Councillor Harry Easton left, Mayor Jack Freedman and Councillor Dick Hopkinson, following a presentation from the Town of $100, to honor Mrs. Cadotte’s many years of faithful service on behalf of the Indian-Metis people of the Community CENTRE one of the displays of Indian-Metis handicraft. A large number of local residents turned out to the teac which was highlighted by presentation to Mrs Cadotte. In making the presentation Mayor Jack Freedman said the $100 was inadequate fog the services provided by Mrs Cadotte over the years. “If we wanted to repay you it would cost thousands, ” Mayor Freedman told Mrs Cadotte. I want you to take this cheque as a token of the Town’s appreciation.“
Mayor Freedman wished Mrs. Cadotte many happy years of retirement. “I want you to live quite a few more years,” said the Mayor. “As a matter of fact I want you beat my rec-opening of the Indian-Metis Friendship Centre and climaxed a lot of hard work by a number of people. Secondly, it was honoring Mrs Granny Cadotte who she claimed had devoted her life to her friends. Mrs Cadotte had been in the north for over 70 years, she said.