First Nation Child Development

Principal Investigator: Rebecca Gokiert
Collaborators/Partners: Yellowhead Tribal College, Yellowhead Tribal Council communities, Offord Centre for Child Studies
Funder: SSHRC and Max Bell Foundation
Duration: 2010-2014

A collaboration between CUP, four First Nation communities of the Yellowhead Tribal Council, and the Yellowhead Tribal College looked at healthy child development from a community perspective. Together, they identified community strengths that support healthy development, and used this to inform early childhood stakeholders and programs within the communities. Data collection was competed in 2014, which included three rounds of Early Development Instrument (EDI) collection, focus groups with over 100 youth, adults and elders across the four participating communities, and the completion of two rounds of data collection of a newly developed FNCD questionnaire completed by parents and teachers. The FNCD questionnaire was developed as a result of community conversations and focused on First Nation language, culture and spirituality.

All findings were shared with community research committees across the four participating communities. Community research committees developed action plans for communicating the findings with parents with young children, service providers (e.g., education staff, health staff, interagency groups), as well as leadership and funders. Committees are also using the information to enhance existing programming for children and families within their communities.

In 2014 the collaboration focused on sharing project findings with the various stakeholders that each community identified.

Read about the study in the UofA News: Teaming up for healthy kids in First Nation Communities