Children Are a Gift to Us: Aboriginal-Specific Early Childhood Programs and Services in Canada
This article examines the intents and rationales of Aboriginal early childhoodprograms and services in Canada. Specifically, it explores the political and policycontexts in which they were developed, the historic and colonial narratives to whichthey responded, and the economic and community needs to which they wereaddressed. The article spans several decades of program development and ends with adiscussion of the most recent Canadian initiatives (and subsequent tensions) focusedon an integrated or single-window Early Learning Child Care initiative. Inconclusions and recommendations, the article reviews and advocates ideologies thatare shifting to a broader recognition of Indigenous ways of knowing and being asintegral to any programs or services in Canada for Aboriginal children and familiesthat seek to enhance their health and well-being.