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Research and Publications

AHSUNC: A Family Wellness Model


Recent research on Family Engagement in AHSUNC Programs in British Columbia by Dr. Alison Gerlach and AHSABC concluded that the foundation for successful programs for Indigenous families is trusted relationships.


When families feel accepted, understood and respected through ongoing, deep connections with consistent staff, they develop a sense of efficacy and belonging.


In this way, AHSUNC programs benefit not only young children but also their parents, families and community.


Family Engagement in Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities

Brief Summary: AHS Family Research 2017

Family Engagement in AHSUNC

PHAC Report 2018

Family Engagement in Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities Program Sites in BC
AHSUNC: Observations and Feedback from our AHS Community


At our 20th Anniversary Celebration of AHSUNC in Vancouver, AHSABC hosted a gathering for three days in July 2015.  Past AHS graduates from across the country, along with staff, Elders, families and guests, shared feasts, entertainment and conversations about the impact of AHS in their lives. Read our Reflections Paper written by Monique Gray Smith about what she witnessed and learned from the 20th Anniversary Celebration. 


Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of Aboriginal Head Start Cover

Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of AHS

written by Monique Gray Smith

In 2015, Dr. Georgina Martin from the UBC Faculty of Education wrote an Analysis of written submissions from the AHS Graduates from across Canada who attended our 20th Anniversary Celebration in Vancouver BC. 

Her article includes reflections from the youth participants, presented according to the Medicine Wheel themes of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual essences of the whole being.​

Aboriginal Head Start The Next Generation Then and Now

Analysis of the 20th Anniversary Youth Nomination Submission by Dr Georgina Martin Aug 24, 2015

An AHS Grad in 2007 and Youth Leader in 2015

 "The youth affirmed that the AHS program gave them a very strong foundation in their development from child to teen and into young adulthood in a very positive environment.Many of the youth acknowledged how the lessons learned at AHS continually complements their self‐image and self‐esteem while others are currently involved with AHS or are young parents sending their child to AHS. Aboriginal Head Start definitely made a positive and  intergenerational impact from past to present in the lives of the former participants.”

– Dr. Georgina Martin

Valuing Aboriginal Head Start in BC, A Narrative Report

Valuing AHS in BC Narrative Report


In 2010, AHSABC marked the 15th Anniversary of AHSUNC programs in Canada by compiling a Narrative Report called Valuing Aboriginal Head Start in BC: Celebrating 15 Years (1995-2010). Based on interviews with staff, parents, Elders and AHS grads, it is a collection of stories from AHS community members across our province.


IELCC: Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care


In 2017, the Government of Canada requested input from Indigenous organizations regarding the benefits and needs of their IELCC programs.


AHSABC engaged families and staff at AHSUNC centres across the country to take part in surveys to give us feedback about the values and challenges of their Aboriginal Head Start programs.


The following three documents were compiled following the engagement process:


  1. AHSABC Report to IELCC from AHSUNC sites in BC

  2. National IELCC Survey Results compiled and summarized by an independent researcher

  3. National IELCC Slideshow Presentation outlines the National survey results


NOTE: The National Survey Results and slideshow are also available in French by contacting AHSABC.

AHSUNC in BC: Report tot the IELCC Framework from AHSABC


AHSUNC Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Engagement Survey Results Cover
The National IELCC Survey Results

National IELCC Slideshow Presentation

National IELCC Survey Results

Résultats de la consultation des centres du PAPACUN

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