What is AHSUNC?

Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities (AHSUNC)

Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities (AHSUNC) is an early intervention preschool program designed for urban and northern (off-reserve) Aboriginal children in Canada. There are 12 programs located throughout British Columbia. AHSUNC receives funding and support from the Public Health Agency of Canada.


The primary goals of AHSUNC are to support the early childhood development of Aboriginal children and to instill pride in their Aboriginal (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) heritage. Programs in BC focus primarily on 3 – 5 year olds as licensed preschools.


The AHS program is guided by Principles and Guidelines which were developed by Health Canada and the National Aboriginal Head Start Council in consultation with the Aboriginal community across Canada including parents, Elders and other community members. They serve as the basis for comprehensive AHS standards of service delivery.

Six Components of AHSUNC


The foundation of the AHSUNC programs are the ‘Six Program Components’  which are taken from the Principles and Guidelines.  These are: 

  1. Culture and Language 

  2. Education and School Readiness

  3. Health Promotion

  4. Nutrition

  5. Parent and Family Involvement

  6. Social Support


The AHS preschools operate under the direction of Parent Advisory Councils (PAC). Parents and guardians become members of their program’s PAC, making decisions about school functions, fundraising, parenting skills training and learning to advocate for their children. PAC meetings provide an atmosphere where parents feel welcome and appreciated for their involvement. Many find that participation helps them build community and new relationships with peers.


Supporting parents and guardians to become active participants in the preschool program is a unique strength of the AHS program, fostering their growth into effective leaders and role models in their children’s lifelong education.


To learn more, download the free Narrative Report compiled in 2010 to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of AHSUNC in BC.



WATCH OUR VIDEO: 20th Anniversary Celebration of AHSUNC

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