History of the Association

The Aboriginal Head Start Association of British Columbia was born in the spring of 1998, evolving in December 2001 to an incorporated, nonprofit society. Today, its membership consists of Program Coordinators, who make up the Board of Directors, as well as elected Parent Representatives from each site in BC. The Executive Committee is elected by the membership and consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, the BC Representative to the National Aboriginal Head Start Council (NAHSC) and the Provincial Parent Advisor. The Lead AHS Program Consultant from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the AHSABC Executive Director also participate as ex-officio members on the Executive Committee.

Growth and Future Goals

The Aboriginal Head Start Association of BC’s growth has been guided by a ‘strategic plan’ developed by the membership. The plan is reviewed annually to ensure it is reflective of current interests, needs and priorities of the AHS programs in BC. The 2011-2014 AHSABC Strategic Plan. Vision is ‘The Aboriginal Head Start Association of BC is a leader in Aboriginal Early Childhood Education. We are a catalyst for focusing expertise and creating opportunities to benefit member sites.’ The identified areas of commitment for the association are guided by ‘Leadership and Programming Excellence’ as the overall direction. The Association aims at reaching this goal by focusing on the following four areas:

  • Influence and Representation
  • Finances
  • Education and Culture

Resources and Best Practices

Since 2006, AHSABC has become a national leader in creating curriculum resources [link to Resources page] that are used in Aboriginal Head Start centres across Canada. Most of these are focused on incorporating culture into the preschool program, as well as recruiting Elders. These have been developed not only for BC programs, but also some (in English and French) for the National Aboriginal Head Start Association for use in sites across Canada.

AHS Early Childhood Educators, Program Coordinators, Language Teachers, Elders, Cooks and Bus Drivers take pride in their work and participate in training to continue growing to better understand how they can contribute and make a difference. Through this commitment, AHSABC has led, supported and sponsored numerous training opportunities in our communities.