As its former name says, the St. John’s Friendship Centre is dedicated to celebrating and supporting indigenous cultures and communities with programs based on trust, respect and friendship. The new name - First Light Centre - reflects a push from the centre toward greater reach and inclusion. The organization started in the late 70s when volunteers provided basic programs to urban-Aboriginal people.
The Centre has a staff of 38, and the program offerings are comprehensive and holistic: Mental Health, Culture and Recreation, Child and Youth Programs, Social Enterprise and Shanawdithit Shelter. Youth programs are focused on developing leadership skills. First Light Centre is about community, and it works to bring together indigenous and non-indigenous populations in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Because of its diverse services, the First Light Centre collaborates with many other community organizations and partners - Cochrane Centre, the Status of Women, Marguerite's Place, Memorial University, government agencies, and other local communities and businesses are among them.