FIRST NATIONS SELF-DETERMINATION

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Many First Nations in Canada are actively moving towards a vision of positive community health and development that includes a substantial measure of control through their own agency and actions. Improving developmental conditions for children and supports for parents have been identified by many First Nations communities as key areas for resource allocation and capacity building.

Our recommendations emphasize the importance of protecting children through culturally-appropriate services, by attending to maternal and child health, by providing appropriate early childhood education, and by making high quality child care available, all with the objective of complementing the family's role in nurturing young children.

Canadian Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Vol. 5, Ch. 1, s4.1.

In a program evaluation conducted from 1998-2000, community administrators reported that the approach of First Nations Partnership Programs supported First Nations self-determination in their communities and the quest for capacity building at the community level to provide quality child care and development programs that embody First Nations cultural traditions, values and practices.

We realized that if we wanted to develop economically, we first had to develop our human resources, because development must come from the inside, not the outside.

Vern Bachiu, Programs and Policy Director, Meadow Lake Tribal Council

Vern Bachiu and Alan Pence Vern Bachiu and Alan Pence
Vern Bachiu and Alan Pence Vern Bachiu and Alan Pence

Vern Bachiu and Alan Pence



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FNPP home page
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FNPP Overview
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First Nations Partnership Programs: Background
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First Nations Self-Determination
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Program Philosophy - Paradigm Shift
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Generative Curriculum Model  Bicultural Program
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Capacity Building
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Bicultural Partnership
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Community-based delivery
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Community-based Child and Youth Care Diploma Program
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Courses and course descriptions
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Intergenerational Teaching and	Learning
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Intergenerational Facilitation
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Program evaluation - funders, methods, and findings
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Program Outcomes
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Educational Outcomes
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Vocational Outcomes/ Community	Development
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Cultural healing
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Social Cohesion and Social Inclusion/ Community Development
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Web Resources and Linksspacer
FNPP publications
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FNPP contacts
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The First Nations Partnership Programs demonstrate that First Nations people have the will and the social cohesion to take the driver's seat on the journey towards increased child and family service capacity. Despite considerable differences among our partners, in terms of their infrastructure, location, economic status, and existing services for children and families, all of the partnership initiatives engendered unprecedented success for students and for the community as a whole. The program evaluation showed what can happen when training in Early Childhood Education and Youth Care is envisioned and implemented as a community development tool. Most importantly, the research process has clarified what guides the process -- how the pieces fit together to realize community-identified goals and strategies, building upon and expanding social cohesion and social inclusion, which in turn creates developmentally supportive ecologies for children and families.


Note:
First Nations are among Canadian aboriginal peoples, who also include Inuit, Aleut, and Metis. There are approximately 500,000 status (registered) First Nations people living on reserve land inCanada. In addition, there are an estimated 750,000 status and non-status First Nations and Metispeople living off reserves, in both urban and rural communities. Groups of First Nations are oftenorganized for administrative purposes into band councils or tribal councils representing severalcommunities that are usually clustered together geographically. Constituent communities may ormay not share the same cultural and migration history, language, and customs.

A relevant reference is: R. Armstrong, J. Kennedy & P.R. Oberle (1990). University and education and economic well-being: Indian achievement and prospects. Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.