Origin of the Friends United Initiative
After Rolf Bouman immigrated in 1986 from Germany to Canada he realized that many First Nations people were impoverished and underappreciated. He also witnessed often unfounded friction between First Nations people and other North Americans. This is why he has been working for almost 3 decades on eliminating prejudice and on focussing the world’s attention on First Nations peoples.
After researching for many years and working to ensure long term funding Rolf Bouman founded in 2009 eventually the Friends United initiative. This is a forum, where by displaying their valuable culture, First Nations people are gaining international exposure and additional recognition. Many of the Friends United artists have also grown to be role models in their native communities as they have been able to become successful entrepreneurs through the business education and funding which they have received through the Friends United initiative.
In 2010 also former Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald joined the initiative, as did Hereditary Chief Stephen Augustine. Together they have been promoting and assisting many First Nations artists to become cultural ambassadors for Canada.