VIU Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity

Key Activities

Collaboration with Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre. Recently completed the report "Learning, Growing and Leading 2012" and literature reviews

The report included recommendations toward:

  • Developing a collaborative, community-based model on which to build culturally relevant AECD programs and services at Tillicum Lelum (in partnership with Vancouver Island University and other organizations and agencies).
  • Identifying a culturally relevant, holistic, philosophical framework for AECD programs and services that appropriately reflect the values of Tillicum Lelum and the community they serve.

The following two literature reviews were also completed with Tillicum Lelum:

  • One review explores research conducted related to the transitions of young children and their families from Early Childhood programs to Kindergarten.
  • Another explores available data on the Aboriginal Early Childhood Development and Aboriginal families - this information will help us understand the current issues and realities of Aboriginal children and their families and provide a context for our future work with Tillicum Lelum and other initiatives.

Collaboration with Cowichan Valley Child Care Council (CVCCC). Commissioned Summary regarding School Age Care and review of documents on Child Care Quality

What do we know about School Age Care? The CVCCC commissioned a summary of what is known about the benefits of formal School Age Care on child development. This review will provide some direction to future planning for that age group in the Cowichan Valley.

What do we know about Child Care Quality? A review of documents and summary of key points that reflect trends in child care quality. This review will provide some context for future directions in ECD in the Cowichan Valley.

Collaboration with BC Aboriginal Child Care Society (BCACCS):

The BCRIC for AECD is working with BCACCS on their project (funded by Public Health Agency of Canada and National Collaborating Centre on Aboriginal Health) to undertake a literature review of assessment tools used to assess Aboriginal Early Childhood Development. As well the AECD Chair will assist with curriculum development for training for Early Childhood Educators who have responsibility to assess the development of young children.

Danielle Alphonse, Graduate Student Research Assistant:

Danielle Alphonse, a Cowichan Tribes member, began working with Linda McDonell in August 2011. In addition, Linda had four undergraduate students working on different AECD projects. For information about student roles see the Student Research Opportunities page.

Delivery of Early Childhood Education and Care (First Nations) Certificate Program at the Cowichan Campus

The AECD Chair worked on the delivery of an Early Childhood Education and Care (First Nations) Certificate Program at the Cowichan Campus. This program is the result of partnership with Cowichan Tribes, Stzu'minus First Nation, Cowichan Professional Development and Training and the Early Childhood Education Care Department (Nanaimo Campus) and will graduate (June, 2012) approximately eighteen students with educational qualifications to work in Early Childhood settings in their own communities and/or in programs across the province.

AECD Advisory Committee Meetings

Two meetings of the AECD Advisory Committee were held in 2011. The Committee met both at the Vancouver Island University Campus (Aboriginal Gathering Place at VIU, Shqu'apthut)and Tillicum Lelum Aborginal Friendship Centre. The Committee provided important guidance to the AECD Chair with regard to ongoing and future activities. The Elder in Residence (Cowichan) Florence James provided a key message to guide our work reminding us to think of our work as "steering the canoe", paddling together - as one - from Nation to Nation with the child as the focus - Nuts'amaat Shqwaluwun - in mind, body and spirit. For more details see the AECD Advisory Committee web page.

Chair Activities

The Chair focused on meeting with other institutions, organizations and agencies to inform them about the BCRIC AECD announcement made in September 2010. The Chair shared information about the mandate and activities for the position. Communities also shared their thoughts about ways to connect and work together, as well as considering potential project partnerships and collaborations.