About the AECD Chair

Background of AECD

Building on the Strengths of Children, Family and Community

“We have to expand opportunities for Aboriginal Peoples through our children. More awareness of what is possible begins when children are young.”

- Irene Seward and Neil Miller, Halalt First Nation


Aboriginal communities are developing a unique vision of Early Childhood Education and Development and the Chair in AECD will support that vision. This brochure outlines why enhanced training for students is critical, the research required, the inherent challenges in undertaking this work and Vancouver Island University’s unique strengths to carry out this research in partnership with Aboriginal communities.

History of BCRIC

A proposal outlining a vision for a comprehensive and collaborative research and innovation plan and a nominee to undertake the work was put forward in March 2009. The Leading Edge Endowment Fund of BC provided $1.25 million for the Chair and an additional $1.25 million was granted by the previous Federal Government’s Early Learning & Child Care Fund. An endowment was established to invest in Aboriginal Early Childhood Development to help strengthen the health and prospects of Aboriginal children.

Vision for AECD: Summary of Proposed Research and Innovation

The vision for the AECD Chair is to strengthen the local and cultural relevance of education for ECD practitioners that would enhance promising practice, and to create new opportunities to develop innovative, high quality, locally relevant, community-based programs and services that will positively influence the holistic development of Aboriginal children, families, and communities.

This will occur through building both new and strengthening existing connections with and between Aboriginal agencies and communities, VIU, licensing and professional bodies, and other public postsecondary institutions. A new model for community development and ultimately Aboriginal leadership in the AECD Chair position will emerge and guide the activity.