The State of Urban Aboriginal Communities

2012 UAKN Research Paper Series

Executive Summary

With reference to the policy goals of the Friendship Centre movement, this paper provides a broad overview of some of the key characteristics of urban Aboriginal community development in Canada. The growth of urban Aboriginal communities is highlighted in relation to organizational development and the emergence of urban Aboriginal governing councils as well as improvements in education, employment, and income for some community members. A diversity of barriers to community development are then reviewed including poverty and related social challenges, internal class tensions, and internal discrimination. And lastly, this paper examines some of the structural challenges to urban Aboriginal governance and the need for relationship building and recognition from First Nations and the Canadian government.