BC Aboriginal Child Care Society E Newsletter


BC Aboriginal Child Care Society recently hosted an information session on November 11th, at our Annual Conference.

During the slide show presentation many questions were raised. When the government’s “Guiding Principles” were discussed, BCACCS questioned why “Language and Culture” were not specifically identified.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights for the Child, article 30 states:
“In those states in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origin exist, a child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her culture, to profess and practice his or her own religion, or to use his or her own language.”

The point was made, “Without our culture and language we are nothing”.

Based on the feedback from the delegates at a recent round table consultation, the key messages we want government to hear are:

In order to implement a new framework, it is necessary to have:

  1. Adequate Funding – For the program design and integration process, and most importantly to ensure universal access to high quality culturally-responsive early learning and child care services, without regard to barriers of any kind, including geography, residence, affiliation or special need;
  2. Culture and Language – Support for the integration of Culture and Language as the foundation of the Program;
  3. Capacity, Authority and Jurisdiction – Recognition and support for First Nations capacity building, authority and jurisdiction.

When discussing the federal “QUAD” Principles, here are the main themes that arose:

  1. First Nations determined: First Nations must be supported to define and implement their own QUAD Principles.
  2. Reflective of the culture and geographic diversity in BC: Defined in the cultural context of BC First Nations, reflecting the cultural and geographic diversity that exists in the province.
  3. Meet or exceed BC standards: First Nations QUAD Principles will meet or exceed standards established for the mainstream ELCC system.
  4. Matched to program budgets: QUAD Principles need to match up to program budgets; because principles without funding/capacity to operationalize are meaningless.

Some of our Next Steps include:

  1. Establishing collaborative arrangements between Government and First Nations.
  2. Meaningful consultation and engagement with First Nations communities based on transparency and reciprocal accountability.
  3. Timely provision of new funding to support effective First Nations participation in all subsequent phases of the program design and transition process.