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Early Years 


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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 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




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:  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 2023 Calendar.

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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 programs



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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Indigenous Infant Development Consultant


Avisha was born in Vancouver but raised on the small Caribbean Island of Antigua, she has strong Afro-Caribbean roots. Avisha obtained her Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education and Care from Capilano University in 2018. Prior to the completion of her bachelor’s degree Avisha worked on the floor in the childcare field for 8 years. In 2019 she moved on to work as a Consultant and in home support worker for various agencies. She has a passion for working with children and their families. Avisha is most excited to work with the Indigenous families in the Ridge Meadows community and learning their cultures and building relationships.  Fun Fact: Avisha is a huge Formula 1 fan and never misses a race weekend.

Early Childhood Eduction


Tansi!  My ancestors are from Peguis First Nations in Manitoba.  My parents, Rebecca & Alfred were both members of Peguis & of Cree heritage.  Dad was born & raised at the original Peguis (formerly St. Peter’s Band Treaty 1) which was on east side of the Red River across from the town of Selkirk.  Approx. 170 km NW of St. Peters is still the illegal land transfer of where Peguis is now. 

I was born & raised in Winnipeg, MB, so, I’m an Urban Indigenous living off reserve.  I moved to the Lower Mainland approx. 25 yrs. ago.  I am a mother of 2 adult girls & a grandmother of 2 grand cats.  I studied Early Childhood Education, Special Needs & Infant Toddler training at Douglas College. 

 I was ready for a change that would bring new challenges.  Voila!  Now, here I am at FRIS as the new IECEC which has been a challenge to say the least.  I’ve been learning how to use updated computer programs, create a Story Blanket Family Drop-in curriculum to learn & teach.  This has given me the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the Indigenous, Metis and Inuit Cultures. 



Indigenous Supported Child/Infant

Development Consultant

Kristin is Tyendinaga Mohawk originally from south-western Ontario who has called BC home for 16 years. She brings with her diversity in both education and experience. Kristin is the mother of two wonderfully curious and adventurous children who bring joy to her life. Her combination of work and life experiences offer a unique and trauma informed perspective that allows her to offer support to guide and grow our Indigenous community. In her spare time, Kristin is most likely to be found near water or hiking the beautiful mountains with her children.



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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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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. 


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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Indigenous Child & Youth

Support Needs Guide


Rachel Simon is originally from Ft. Langley and was raised in East Vancouver. Rachel comes from mixed heritage, European and Indigenous with ties to Kwantlen and Squamish Nations. She is the mother of 4 children, who are all on the ASD/ADHD spectrum. She brings 20+ years of experience working in the Indigenous Family Support field facilitating several child, youth, and family programs. She brings the combination of lived experience and education that is tailor-made for this role. She uses a trauma-sensitive, strengths-focused, and client-centred approach with culture as the theme flowing through everything she does. Rachel loves her cats, her freshwater aquarium, and her garden of traditional medicines.

Indigenous Infant

Development Consultant


Hi! My name is Pam, and I am a mother of 2 beautiful daughters. I was raised in Abbotsford. I have more than 15 years of experience in teaching and out of which 8 years I worked as a Daycare Manager. I love spending time with children teaching them and learning from them.  I am pleased to work with Fraser River Indigenous Society providing support and resources to all Indigenous people in the community as well as learning from them about their rich culture. Indigenous culture and traditions have always fascinated me and I strive to learn more and look forward to building connections with the families in our community. Fun fact: - I am also a make up artist and love cooking in my free time.

Early Years 

Program Assistant


Originally from Toronto, I eventually laid down roots in beautiful Pitt Meadows where I raised my family. 

Outside of work, you will most likely find me on the water in my kayak or hiking on a trail.  I am also known to appreciate some good old fashioned down time at home watching my favourite TV shows.

My current focus is to develop my role with the Early Years team to provide quality programs for families in our community. I love seeing the community spirit at the many public events and celebrations.  I also love seeing the work of FRIS and our partners in the community making a difference.

Fun Fact: Did you know that humans are the only animals that blush!?  Ok, so I don’t know for sure if that is true, but it is true for me.  

many voices one mind

Many Voices, One Mind (formally known as The Fraser Region Aboriginal ECD Network) is a non-profit network of Indigenous Early Childhood Development service providers from across the Fraser Region. 

Our vision is to focus the strength and wisdom of our communities to create supports for Indigenous Early Childhood Development (IECD). We are a model for other IECD networks, demonstrating how to work together, blending traditional values and current expertise to improve services to children and families.

Our Mission is to provide leadership in the creation of unique, culturally responsive Indigenous Early Childhood Development (IECD) resources and experiential learning opportunities.  We support others to enhance the ways they serve the IECD needs of children and families.

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