Provides children with a positive sense of themselves and builds on their knowledge of their Aboriginal language(s) and cultural experiences in their communities. The program will enhance the process of cultural and language revival and retention.
“Joe has always been the child in the class who is most interactive with visiting Elders, and most eager to try such activities as drumming and smudging. Joe has made amazing progress in learning words in Cree!” (Hinton Head Start - Hinton, Alberta, p.9 Creation Stories)
Supports and encourages each Aboriginal child to enjoy life-long learning, by engaging the child in opportunities of learning so that they carry forth the enthusiasm, self-esteem and initiative to learn in the future.
“February 2001 we started to attend Aboriginal Head Start and in just one year of attending my children have learned so much. Sharing, taking turns, respect and their culture.”. (The McDermotts – Flin Flon Sweetgrass AHS, Flin Flon, Manitoba p.40 Creation Stories)
Empowers AHSUNC children and families to increase control over and improve their health. Encourages practices for self care, working together to address health concerns and create social support networks.
After we eat our meals, we take care of our teeth by brushing them, another way of learning how to take care of our bodies. (Waninawakang AHS Children - Sioux Lookout, Ontario, p.7 Creation Stories)
Ensures that children are provided with meals and snacks that help meet their nutritional needs. Educates staff and parents about the relationship of nutrition to the healthy development of the child and their ability to learn.
“At Head Start, we also get to eat delicious food. We have snacks as well as breakfast and lunch. We eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and food that makes us strong and healthy.” Waninawakang AHS Children: Sioux Lookout, Ontario, P. 7, Creation Stories.
Ensures that families are aware of, and have access to resources and community services. Supports parents and community members to be active participants in their children’s lives and with AHS.
“The program also gives parents support, such as myself with six small children at home while my husband is away working in the oil field. Socializing is very difficult when you have so many children. Honestly, just basic everyday stuff such as cleaning and getting groceries, etc., is difficult. So, socializing is even harder.” (Creation Stories)
Supports the parents’ and family’s role as the primary teachers of their children. The ultimate goal is for parents and caregivers to complete the program being more confident, assertive, and have a deeper understanding of their children.
“As a fully involved parent, it gave me great joy to witness my child’s growth as he learned new things and developed new skills. Throughout the year, my child became more aware, more independent, and learned the importance of being social, patient and attentive.” (Marilyn Cardinal, Grand Prairie, Alberta, p. 51 Creation Stories)