Ottawa, Dec 20 (Canadian-Media): Over 40 First Nation (FN) communities across Ontario with more than 1800 children and their families are being supported in culturally relevant child and family programs, media reports said.
First Nations are reportedly indigenous peoples in Canada, also known as Indigenous Canadians or Aboriginal Canadians.
“First Nation child and family programs are important hubs for quality early years services...gives families better access to early learning programs for kids...FN communities with culturally-relevant support and services that help to build strong families and strong communities,” Indira Naidoo-Harris, Ontario's Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care was reported to state.
As part Ontario's 'The Journey Together: Ontario's Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples' and to address the legacy of residential schools, close gaps and remove barriers to reconcile relationships with Indigenous peoples, the province would reportedly provide necessary support, advice, personal connections, as well as a network of resources and play- and inquiry-based programs for young children and families of FN communities.
Up to $23.5 million over the next two years would reportedly be invested by Ontario in child and family programs to support FN children and their families including ongoing funding to help increase access to culturally relevant child and family programs on-reserve.
" These investments are a step toward a broader child care and early years strategy for Indigenous communities in Ontario and are connected to the government’s vision where children and families are supported by a system of responsive, high-quality, accessible and increasingly integrated programs and services,” David Zimmer, Ontario Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation also was reported to state.
David Zimmer. Image credit: Facebook page
Ontario’s initial investment of $7.5M to Expand child and family programs in FN communities would reportedly foster positive relationships between quality early learning, child development outcomes, and a parent’s ability to work.