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The Government of Canada marks the 20th anniversary of Aboriginal Head Start on Reserve program

by ahnationtalk on October 19, 201813 Views

From: Indigenous Services Canada

October 19, 2018 — Ottawa, ON — Indigenous Services Canada

October 19 marks the 20th anniversary of the Aboriginal Head Start on Reserve (AHSOR) program. For two decades, AHSOR has touched the lives of First Nations children on reserve and their families through providing enriching, early-learning environments focused on cultivating a strong sense of identity and belonging.

AHSOR’s programming is designed to serve the learning and developmental needs of First Nations children from birth to 6 years of age. AHSOR’s model integrates traditional activities identified by communities alongside the promotion of Indigenous languages and cultures. In addition, the program’s holistic approach encourages First Nations parents, families and community members to play an important role, while building on relationships with other community-based programs and services to ensure that First Nations children get the best care throughout their development.

Evidence from the First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey suggests that AHSOR’s approach helps to instill a strong sense of cultural identity that will follow children throughout their lives, while also having a positive impact on the broader promotion of Indigenous languages and cultures. For example, a significantly higher percentage of children who had attended AHSOR had some knowledge of a First Nations language, and were more likely to take part in traditional activities, such as singing, drumming and dancing, than those who did not attend the program.

The Government of Canada provides more than $48 million annually to support AHSOR programs across the country. In Budget 2016, investments in Early Learning and Child Care helped support repairs and renovations of facilities, as well as build further capacity in existing Indigenous early learning and child care services.

Quotes

“For two decades, AHSOR has provided First Nations children and their families with high-quality early learning experiences focused on building pride and a strong sense of identity. AHSOR helps children learn and retain their First Nations languages, as well as develop meaningful connections to their culture that stay with them throughout their lives. Thank you to everyone who has helped make AHSOR a success.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

Quick facts

  • Language, culture and learning are crucial elements of early childhood development and have an important impact on Indigenous children throughout their lives. AHSOR provides culture and language services and supports that allow children to develop a strong sense of identity, and helps them to learn and retain their First Nations languages.
  • Evidence from the First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey suggests that AHSOR has a positive impact on the promotion of Indigenous languages and cultures. For example, a significantly higher percentage of children who had attended AHSOR had some knowledge of a First Nations language, and a significantly higher percentage of children who had attended AHSOR took part in traditional activities, such as singing, drumming and dancing, outside of school hours at least once a week, compared to those who never attended AHSOR. Having a strong sense of cultural identity has been shown to positively influence outcomes for Indigenous youth.
  • The Government of Canada provides more than $48 million annually for the AHSOR program to offer services across the country. In the 2015-16 reporting year, more than 14,000 First Nations children on reserve across Canada were served by AHSOR.
  • Through Budget 2016 Early Learning and Child Care investments, the Government of Canada provided $12.8M in 2016-17 and $38.4M in 2017-18 for urgent repairs and renovations of the facilities used by the AHSOR program and to build capacity in existing Indigenous early learning and child care services.
  • An Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework was announced on September 17, 2018. This Framework was co-developed with Indigenous partners.

Associated links

Contacts

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services
819-934-2796

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca

NT5

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