indigenous

Early Years 

Programs

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GROWING + LEARNING

Welcome to our Early Years programs for Indigenous children aged 0-19 and their caregivers, who reside in the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows area. 

 

Our programs are delivered in community or in a family home setting.

 

We believe in the potential of every child, and we know that each child is unique. We work together with families to recognize each child’s strengths and develop their abilities.

If children grow up with a sense of belonging, they can keep their cultures vital and restore their communities.   

THE STORY BEHIND THE EARLY YEARS LOGO

 

The logo is rooted in Indigenous connectivity and culture.  This unique territory is embraced as the Golden Ears mountain range provides the backdrop with the local bridges connecting all communities together. The seven sacred teachings are highlighted in the moon cycle along with the seven trees that outline the frame. The organic form of the Fraser River leads the eye to an Inter-generational family consisting of the four colours of the Medicine Wheel, wearing blankets that represent the local territories; Katzie/Kwantlen, Prairie First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities that reside in the area. Together, this will become a gathering place where all Nations can come together to share, teach, and support each other in a welcoming environment.   

FRIS is pleased to collaborate with Destiny Swiderski on the Early Years Logo.  Destiny is a Vancouver Island-based Métis interdisciplinary architectural/graphic designer, public artist, painter, and educator.  Her Cree and Ukrainian descent give her inspiration as she questions how her two cultures can intersect in a new perspective.  Her artistic practice focuses on Vancouver Island narratives of Indigenous biology, architecture, and ideas around place-making.

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Destiny Swiderski
Artist/Designer

program

goals

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Our Indigenous early years program aims to create a community of healthy, happy, children supported to reach their full potential, and to encourage all children to begin a life long journey of learning within a culturally supportive and safe environment of high quality Early Childhood Development programs, services and supports.

We focus on traditional teachings, such as the Medicine Wheel (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health) and the Seven Sacred Teachings (truth, honesty, courage, respect, wisdom, humility, and love). For more information contact our Early Years Program Manager :  E:  eymanager@frisociety.ca  P:  604-458-0151 

Indigenous early years programs

Our Story Blanket drop-in program is for Indigenous children aged 0-6 and their caregivers.  The playgroup consists of free play, circle time, crafts, drumming, and a snack. A local Elder attends and provides traditional knowledge and support. Children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.  Please drop in, it is FREE!  Click More Info for our 2022 Calendar.

Story Blanket

Early years drop-in

Ages (0-6 years))

Our Aboriginal Infant Development Consultants (AIDP) provide services to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit families with infants/children who are at risk, or have developmental delays, to reach their full potential, through a strength-based, holistic and culturally responsive approach.

Aboriginal Infant Development Program (AIDP)

Ages (0-5 years)

Aboriginal Supported Child Development Consultants provides ASCD services to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and families to reach their full potential, through stength-based, holistic and culturally responsive approach to ensure they are included within their childcare, preschool or community care setting.

Aboriginal Supported Child Development (ASCD)

Ages (0- up to 19 years)

Our Indigenous CYSN Guide provides support and will be a primary contact for First Nations, Métis and Inuit families with children and youth with support needs from birth up to 19 years residing in Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge or as requested from Katzie First Nation members. The CYSN Guide will support them to access needed CYSN programs and services.

Indigenous Child and Youth with Support Needs (ICYSN)

Ages (0- up to19 years)

Indigenous Early Years program STAFF

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GLENDA MORIN 

Indigenous Early Years Program Manager

 

Glenda was born and raised in Manitoba and is happy to call BC her home for over 25 years. Glenda’s heritage is Métis, Algonquin/French and Polish. Glenda has a diverse career background with her greatest passion working with children, youth, and their families. She has been in the Early Years field for over 20 years. Through these years she has attained a variety of education and experience as part of her professional development. Glenda is excited to meet and work with the families, elders, and community partners of Ridge Meadows.  Fun Fact: Is a long-time volunteer (20yrs) with Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland!

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CHILDREN ARE A GIFT FROM THE CREATOR

If children grow up with a sense of belonging, they can keep their cultures vital and restore their communities. 

We honour our responsibility to share the strength and resilience of our Indigenous way of being by providing services and programs for our community to acknowledge our past, present, and future generations.

 

 

children are our future

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"We have been caring for our children since time immemorial. The teachings of our values, principles, and ways of being to the children and youth have ensured our existence as communities, nations, and peoples. The values of our people have ensured our existence. It is to the children that these values are passed. The children are our future and our survival."

                                  -Shuswap Elder Mary Thomas

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STORY BLANKET

The significance of the blanket in Indigenous communities- they are used to honour individual life changing events, to offer in gift-giving ceremonies, to serve as a record of a significant event, or to provide protection. 

A BLANKET HOLDS SIGNIFICANT MEANING 

It is a symbol of warmth and friendship. The action of wrapping someone in a blanket is a real statement of kindness and a demonstration of honor. In Native American traditions a blanket is used to create and seal relationships.

Indigenous Early Years program STAFF

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kathleen
macdonald

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Alana
Ramsey

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kassidy

dixon

Indigenous/Aboriginal Infant Development Consultant 

 

Kassidy was raised in Coquitlam/Burnaby BC and currently resides in Maple Ridge BC. Kassidy’s heritage is Metis, Irish, and English. Kassidy obtained her certification in Early Childhood Education in 2013 and in 2017 she obtained her ECE Diploma, specializing in special needs education. Kassidy has been working with infants and toddlers of all abilities since 2013. Kassidy has a passion for working with children and is very excited to bring that passion into her career as an Aboriginal/Indigenous Infant Development Consultant. Fun Fact about Kassidy: She is a photographer, and an avid hiker! 

ECE Coordinator

 

 

Kathleen was raised in North Western Ontario and moved to BC as a teenager. Her adult life and career have been dedicated to Early Childhood Early Learning and Care. She graduated from Douglas College in 2003 with her ECE diploma, specializing in Special Needs. Having been raised in a family that nurtured the development of children with special needs, Kathleen developed her appreciation for all the gifts children bring to the community.  A parent and caregiver herself, she recognizes the value of connecting family, Elders, and community.  Fun Fact about Kathleen:  She is passionate about connecting children to culture and land and enjoys Alpine hiking/backpacking with her family.

ASCD Consultant

 

 

Alana is a settler on these lands growing up in the Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge area. Alana’s ancestors come from Northern Ireland, and they relocated to Canada in 1976. Alana obtained her Early Childhood Educator special needs diploma from Douglas College and soon after completed her Bachelor of Child and youth care with a specialization in Early Years from UVIC. While working on her degree, Alana developed an interest in Indigenous culture and history which led her to want to work for an Indigenous organization. Alana is looking forward to supporting families and their children in her role as an Aboriginal supported child development consultant. In her spare time, you can find Alana spending time with her dog, Beans!

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kyleia
Gallagher

ASCD Consultant

 

 

Kyleia was raised in Vancouver and Maple Ridge and now resides in Coquitlam. My Ojibwe ancestors hail from Serpent River First Nation in Ontario. I obtained my Community Support Worker Diploma in 2019 with an ECE focus and have worked in childcare centers since 2016. Prior to becoming a Behaviour Interventionist in 2020, I was a support worker for children with Autism. I’m looking forward to thriving in my role as an Aboriginal/Indigenous Supported Child Development Consultant. In my free time, I enjoy exploring the trails and waters of British Columbia.

Alyssa
Gwen

Indigenous/Aboriginal Infant

Development Consultant

I am an Aboriginal Infant Development consultant with FRIS.  I graduated with my diploma in Early Childhood Education with a certification in Infant/Toddler and Special Needs education in 2016.  In 2021, I finished my Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of the Fraser Valley.  I have spent the last 8 years working in childcare, as an education assistant, and as a community support worker.  I grew up in Maple Ridge and continue to work, live, and explore here.  In my free-time, I enjoy hiking and camping with my husband and our dogs.

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Nicole
chiu

Indigenous Child and Youth with

Supported Needs Guide

Nicole has a Criminology diploma, a degree in Media Communications, and she is currently pursuing her Master's in Professional Communication at Royal Roads University.  In the past seven years, she has worked extensively in media and corporate communications for various fields, including, non-profits, IT, research, and radio.  She is passionate about using her skills to make an impact in the community to be a part of FRIS.  Something interesting about Nicole is that she grew up in Kolkata, India!