Thank you for your interest in the Bring Our Children Home initiative. The Atikokan Native Friendship Centre (ANFC) and our community partners are committed to ending the pain, suffering and death that Indigenous children and youth have experienced as a result of their involvement with the Canadian child welfare system. It begins by creating a safe and supportive transition home and lodge.
Biskaabiiyang is a youth transition home and lodge that is designed for 15-20 youth who have aged out of care in the child welfare system. In Canada, the Indigenous population represents 7.7% of the total population, but Indigenous children and youth comprise over 50% of the population in the child welfare system. The system is seriously broken. Indigenous youth who age out of care are likely to be homeless and experience multiple issues including mental health, trauma, addictions and health problems due to neglect. The need for sustainable, safe, adequate and affordable housing in Atikokan is urgent.
ANFC has partnered with regional, provincial and national organizations to create a safe home for youth in Atikokan called, Biiskabiiyang. Twenty youth will experience wraparound supports, occupational programs, education credits and, importantly, exposure to Indigenous culture, family history and healing as they transition into independent adulthood. The building and programming have been designed and developed in collaboration with our youth advisory circle (YAC).