Awasisak Achakos Aboriginal Headstart

Awasisak Achakos is an urban, no cost to families, grass roots holistic program for children ages 3-5. The program is guided by Elders in our community and focuses on the spiritual, emotional, physical, and social well-being of children and their families. We are licensed under Interior Health and have a wonder team of Early Childhood Educators who value the uniqueness of each child and family member.
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What to Expect

This program is supported by the Mamawapowin Hub support, ASCD, Peetigway and Ab Dads.  We often are blessed with an Elder who attends to offer guidance and a new perspective on Metis ways. In this program land-based learning is brought into the childcare space through provocations of nature and outdoor experiences. 

Michif songs and books are integrated into play so exposure to language is part of each group.  Our physical space encompasses many traditional Metis artifacts such as, the Metis Sash, Metis flag, a large bison head, many pieces of fur, snowshoes and beaded gloves and moccasins.  A perfect program to learn through play. I wrote this for Maataway.  I think this would be truer to AHS.

Aboriginal Head Start is an Urban community based early intervention program created for our Indigenous community. Our program focuses on family wellness, so we provide wrap around services to all AHS families through community events at Mamawapowin Early Years Hub, nutritional packages delivered to the daycare and access to free counselling, Aboriginal Supported Child Development staff support, play therapy are some of our services at MCSS.

We know:

  • That children are a gift from the creator.
  • That children have the right to live proudly as Indigenous people in the lands of their ancestors.
  • That children have a right to learn their languages, histories, and adults have the responsibility to pass on that instruction.
  • That each child is part of what makes a community.
  • That it is essential for children to develop meaningful relationships with Elders & knowledge carriers.
  • That adults are community role models who are to teach children how to live a good life.
  • That children acquire knowledge by watching, listening, and doing.  Adults are responsible for encouraging and guiding them in all those activities.
  • That children through love and encouragement will gain courage and strength.
  • That children have a right to enjoy the opportunities that education offers free of violence.

It is our goal to meet the needs of our community.

Opportunities include:

  • Monthly pancake breakfasts with families, elders, and community members
  • Frequent field trips
  • Elder visits and teachings
  • On-site cultural chef and nutrition table
  • Culture and language teachings and activities facilitated by staff, elders, and community members
  • Naturally designed private playground
  • On site Aboriginal Supported Child Development worker
  • Flexible schedules to meet the needs of all the children
  • On site elders room/ regulation room
  • Support with referrals such as Occupational therapists, Speech and language therapists, pediatricians etc.

“The patience that the teachers have with the children is incredible. They treat the kids as if they are their own.”

– Awasisak Achakos Parent

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How to access services?

Referrals can be made by a parent or guardian, family doctor, community workers and agencies, school staff, and correctional facilities.

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