6 Component Areas

Culture and Language

Aboriginal Head Start instills in children a positive sense of identity through culture and language curriculum related to their First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultures. A connection to their ancestry, through traditional activities and languages, provides children (as well as parents, staff and Elders) with a positive sense of themselves, their families, and their communities.

Education and School Readiness

The AHS preschool program provides a solid preparation for young children entering the school system. The first day of kindergarten can be stressful for both children and parents, and it is necessary for everyone to be prepared for this next step. Aboriginal Head Start staff are trained in helping families with this transition, and regularly go out of their way to facilitate early meetings and visits with kindergarten teachers in their classrooms. This preparation makes a difference for not only the students, but also their parents. 

Health Promotion

Aboriginal Head Start programs strive to empower all those involved with AHS to increase control over and improve their health and well being. In many centres, a variety of medical practitioners volunteer to visit in order to familiarize the children with health care. Some programs offer speech therapy, counselling and physiotherapy for special needs children.


The Aboriginal Head Start program ensures that children are provided with nourishing food on-site, helping meet their nutritional needs and fostering their ability to learn and develop. All programs offer snack time, while some provide breakfast and lunch, as well as celebrations and feasts for the families. Many centres feature traditional foods as part of the cultural experience.Stephen Bujnowicz, Program Consultant with the PHAC, BC Region, explained that each AHS centre addresses the component areas differently, and that some sites have Aboriginal nutritionists and dieticians that visit and provide expertise and information.

Social Support

Aboriginal Head Start programs provide the structure for a new ‘village’ for Aboriginal families in urban areas. The centres become a place where families can network and develop meaningful relationships. AHS parents remark on how staff are very helpful and generous towards the families, as well as being a kindly source of information on resources and community services available to impact their quality of life. Friendships among staff, parents, Elders and students take root in this AHS community. The centre provides a home for those who are far from their families or are newcomers to the city. These friendships often last a lifetime.

Parent and Family Involvement

It is well understood among Head Start staff and coordinators that the success of the program, and more importantly, the success of children’s education, very much depends on involvement and participation of the parents. Parents are encouraged by Aboriginal Head Start staff to take a proactive role in their children’s current and future education. As their child’s primary teachers, parents are empowered to bring forth gifts and further develop as role models for their children and in their communities.

Aboriginal Head Start Association of British Columbia

Awahsuk AHS

14589 108th Avenue 
Surrey, BC V3R 1V6 

Comox Valley AHS

956 Grieve Ave 
Courtenay, BC V9N 5N5 

Eagles Nest AHS

618 East Hastings St. 
Vancouver, BC V6A 1R1 

Future 4 Nations AHS

34110 Lougheed Hwy 
Mission, BC V2V 4L1 

Kermode Friendship Society AHS

3313 Kalum St. 
Terrace, BC V8G 2N7 

Little Moccasins Learning Centre AHS

99 South 3rd Ave. 
Williams Lake, BC V2G 1J1 

Power of Friendship AHS

110 Anderson St. 
Prince George, BC,

V2M 4Z1 

Prince George AHS

1945-3rd Ave. 
Prince George, BC

V2L 1G6 

Prince Rupert AHS

2150 313 Prince Rupert Blvd
Prince Rupert, BC V8J 4E4 

Qwallayuw AHS

441-4th Ave. 
Campbell River, BC

V9W 3W7 

Sas Natsadle AHS

10328 - 101st Avenue 
Fort St. John, BC

V1J 2B5 

Singing Frog AHS

2150 McLean Drive 
Vancouver, BC

V5N 5X9 

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© 2017 Aboriginal Head Start Association of British Columbia. Proudly created by Salish Eye Productions