THUNDER BAY – After 50 years of operation, the Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre is making a small, but significant, name change. Effective April 1, 2017, the operating name is changing to Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre.
The decision comes at the direction of membership, who decided it was time to move on from the outdated word “Indian.” It is now common for the first inhabitants of this land to refer themselves as Indigenous.
“We want to be reflective of our Indigenous community and our country,” says Charlene Baglien, Executive Director of the Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre. “We are working towards decolonizing in many ways and this is the first step in removing the word “Indian” in our documents and in our conversations. It is important for our non-Indigenous settlers to know who we really are.”