Mi’kmaq early childhood educators who deliver early learning programs in Mi’kmaw communities will receive more training opportunities through a pilot program.
On November 19 in Wagmatcook, an announcement was made by Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, that Government will invest $388,000 and partner with Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey and the Nova Scotia CommunityCollege to develop and deliver the program for January 2019.
“This partnership and pilot program will ensure children on reserve have access to early learning programs that reflect their language and culture,” said Churchill. “It’s important that Mi’kmaq language and culture is supported and promoted, in curriculum and program delivery that incorporates Mi’kmaw language and reflects Mi’kmaq knowledge and perspectives.
The funding for this program is made possible through the three-year, $35 million Canada-Nova Scotia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, in addition to the One Journey Initiative that is made available through the Canada-Nova Scotia Workforce Development Agreement.
Up to 20 existing Mi’kmaq early childhood educators will participate in this accelerated workplace training program. The program will provide them with an opportunity to upgrade their skills and earn a diploma in Early Childhood Education while they work.
"We are very excited about this new partnership," said Ann Sylliboy, Post Secondary Coordinator, Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey. "Providing opportunities such as this to our teachers helps to bring even more Mi'kmaw language and culture into our Early Childhood Education facilities, which benefits not only our children, but our communities as well."
The program will be developed collaboratively between the Nova Scotia Community College and Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey. The federal and provincial governments share a commitment to ensuring that early learning environments include, respond to, and respect all children and the diversity they bring to a setting. Investing in workforce diversity and an enhanced culturally-responsive program and curriculum is another positive step toward achieving a fully-inclusive early years system in Nova Scotia.