OTTAWA – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde acknowledged the 20th anniversary of the Aboriginal Head Start On-Reserve (AHSOR) Program, an important and essential community-based program to help close the education gap for First Nations children and families.
“Today we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Aboriginal Head Start On-Reserve Program, an important program that delivers quality educational programming and care in First Nations across the country,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “Our children deserve healthy environments and solid programs that are rooted in culture and language so they can achieve their full potential. We continue to support innovative community-based programming that makes positive impacts. We want to see more resources so more of our children can access Head Start On-Reserve Programs.”
The AHSOR Program works collectively with other community programs and services to ensure First Nations children have access to the best care. The Government of Canada announced on October 19, 1995, that the Aboriginal Head Start Program would be expanded to First Nations to help enhance child development and school readiness for First Nations children. The expansion was a result of commitments made in Gathering Strength: Canada’s Aboriginal Action Plan, Securing our Future Together and the 1997 Speech from the Throne. In the 2015-2016 reporting year, over 14,000 First Nations children, living in First Nations, participated in an AHSOR Program.