Aboriginal Headstart Program

Coordinator – (306) 420 – 8135
Little Red River – (306) 982 – 2669
Hall Lake – (306) 425 – 5565
La Ronge – (306) 425 – 5015
Sucker River – (306) 425 – 2004
Grandmother’s Bay – (306) 635 – 2185
Six Components
  • Culture and Language
  • Education
  • Health Promotion
  • Nutrition
  • Social Support
  • Parent and Family Involvement
Culture and Language   
The purpose of the Culture and Language component is to provide children with a positive sense of themselves as First nations children and to build on the children’s knowledge of their First Nations languages and experience of culture in their communities. More specifically, projects will enhance the process of cultural and language revival and retention, with the ultimate goal that, where possible, children will aspire to learn their respective languages and will participate in their communities’ culture.
Aboriginal Head Start On Reserve projects will:
  • Encourage thoughtfulness and reflection about how to ensure that this is a comfortable place for First Nations people to be who they are;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of, respect for and responsiveness to First Nations cultures and languages;
  • Focus on the First Nations cultures and languages of the  children in the Program;
  • Create an environment in which children, families, employees and volunteers participate in relevant and significant activities on a daily basis;
  • Provide opportunities for Elders, traditional people and cultural people to participate;
  • Provide opportunities for children, families and communities to enhance their knowledge of their culture and language; and
  • Apply First Nations cultural values and beliefs to all aspects of daily programming, Program governance and administration.
The purpose of the Education component is to support and encourage each First Nations child to enjoy life-long learning. More specifically, the projects will encourage each child to take initiative in learning and will provide each child with enjoyable opportunities to learn. This will be done in a manner that is appropriate to both the age and stage of development of the child. The ultimate goal is to engage children in the possibility of learning, so that they carry forth the enthusiasm, self-esteem and initiative to learn in the future.
Aboriginal Head Start On Reserve will:
  • Focus on early-childhood development, including physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual and social development;
  • Foster a desire for life-long learning in the child;
  • Develop the school readiness of the child in the following areas:
– physical well-being and appropriate motor development;
– emotional health and a positive approach to new experiences;
– social knowledge and competence;
– language skills;
– general knowledge and cognitive skills; and
– spiritual well-being; and
  • Provide the child with a learning environment and varied experiences that will contribute to his/her physical, spirtual, emotional, intellectual and social development.
Health Promotion  
The purpose of the Health Promotion Component is to empower parents, guardians, caregivers and those involved with AHS to increase control over and improve their health. More specifically, the projects will encourage practices for self care, working together to address health concerns, and the creation of formal and informal social support networks. The ultimate goal is for those involved with Aboriginal Head Start On Reserve to take actions that contribute to holistic health.
Aboriginal Head Start On Reserve will:
  • Ensure that all children are immunized according to provincial standards. this will be done in co-operation with parents/guardians through local health-service providers;
  • Ensure that qualified health professionals visit on a regular basis;
  • Ensure that the appropriate physical, vision and hearing assessments are done either within the first month following registration, or, in more remote communities, when arrangements are made for qualified personnel to do the assessments;
  • Assist parents in ensuring that these assessments are done, if required;
  • Assist parents to arrange for medical treatment, if required.
  • Teach, model and encourage good dental hygiene in the Program;
  • Perhaps assist parents to arrange for dental examinations for the children;
  • Seek the assistance of Elders (for traditional healing circles and/or ceremonies), if needed, to meet the needs of each child;
  • Seek the assistance of psychiatrists, psychologists, speech therapists, physiotherapists and other specialists, if needed, to meet the needs of each child;
  • Develop and undertake indoor and outdoor activities and games, including both children and staff, to promote development of gross motor skills and participation in an active lifestyle; and
  • Encourage parents to participate in activities that will promote a healthy and active lifestyle.
The purpose of the Nutrition Component is to ensure that children are provided with food which will help meet their nutritional needs, and to educate staff and parents about the relationship of nutrition to children’s ability to learn, physical development and mental development. Mealtimes provide opportunities for sharing, teaching and socializing. The ultimate goal is to empower children and parents to develop or enhance nutritional eating habits that will be maintained following the children’s AHS experience.
Aboriginal Head Start On Reserve will:
  • Provide children the essential nutrients that they require to grow, develop and be active;
  • Feed children appropriately for the period of time each day that they are at the project;
  • Meet the children’s nutritional needs by using the Aboriginal Food Guide, which is comparable to Canada’s Food Guide, but also respects local traditions and customs; and
  • Provide children and parents with opportunities to learn about and further develop nutritious and healthy eating habits.
Social Support   
The purpose of the Social Support Component is to ensure that the families are made aware of resources and community services available to impact their quality of life. The project will assist the families to access resources and community services. This may mean that the project will work in cooperation with the service providers. The ultimate goal of this component is to empower parents to access assistance and services which will support them to be active participants in their children’s lives and Aboriginal Head Start On Reserve.
Aboriginal Head Start On Reserve projects will:
A. Identify the need for and facilitate the provision of social support to First nations children and their families. Methods of social support could include:
  • Provide referrals;
  • Implement family-needs assessments:
  • Utilize community-outreach programs;
  • Provide community-resource information;
  • Provide emergency-assistance information; and
  • Provide crisis-intervention information.
B. Develop a list of collaborative service providers, i.e. local, regional, provincial and national organizations, groups and individuals; and
C. Involve local service-providers in projects that could include:
  • Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP) projects;
  • Brighter Futures projects;
  • Child and Family services;
  • Crisis centres;
  • Drug and alcohol treatment centres;
  • Child Care centres;
  • Health centres or hospitals;
  • First Nations housing;
  • First Nations women’s centres;
  • Parent resource centres; and
  • Toy-lending libraries.
Parental and Family involvement   
The purpose of the Parental and Family Involvement Component is to support the parents’ and family’s role as children’s primary teachers. The parents and family will be acknowledged as contributors to the program through involvement with a parent body or participation in and/or contribution to classroom activities. This component provides the opportunity to empower parents to bring forth gifts and further develop as role models for children and in their communities. The ultimate goal is for parents and caregivers to complete the program being more confident, and assertive and having a deeper understanding of their children than when they began the program.
Aboriginal Head Start On Reserve projects will:
  • Be managed, so that parents have a meaningful experience in the planning, development, operation and evaluation of the Program;
  • Support the role of the extended family, particularly the Elders, cultural teachers and traditional people, in the teaching of and caring for children;
  • Provide and communicate about opportunities to participate;
  • Encourage and empower parents to participate; and
  • Not make a child’s registration and participation dependent on one or both parents’ participation.