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Project 79

Challenge Question

How might current government programs for indigenous communities be implemented for greater community benefit?

Partner: TBD

Project Summary

This project constellates around a community-based evaluation of the practices and services of the Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities by (AHSUNC). AHSUNC is a national community-based early intervention program funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada that focuses on early childhood development for First Nations, Inuit and M├ętis children and their families living off-reserve. Since 1995, AHSUNC has provided funding to Indigenous community-based organizations to develop and deliver programs that promote the healthy development of Indigenous preschool children. It supports the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical development of Indigenous children, while supporting their parents and guardians as their primary teachers.

On average, the program reach ranges from 4600-4800 children annually at 134 sites. AHSUNC sites typically provide structured half-day preschool experiences for Indigenous children (3-5 years of age) focused on six program components: Indigenous culture and language; education and school readiness; health promotion; nutrition; social support; and parental involvement. The interdisciplinary research team will be responsible for gaining a deep understanding of the history and development of the AHSUNC, its past and current initiatives, and the communities it provides services for and then developing a detailed plan for conducting a qualitative, Indigenous-informed evaluation. The evaluation will examine 1) how the AHSUNC currently operates 2) intended and real impact of its services - and 3) how, if necessary, it can adapt, shift, or improve its services in order to better meet its mandate to provide for Indigenous children living in the 21st century.
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Sustainable Development Goals

Key Words

  • Indigenous Studies
  • Evaluation
  • Education
  • Health and Welfare
  • Social Work