The FNQLHSSC and Avenir d’enfants join forces to promote the healthy development of young First Nations children
The First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC) and Avenir d'enfants
formed a partnership in August 2012 to mobilize First Nations communities and organizations around the development of children between the ages of zero and five. Under this agreement, Avenir d'enfants
is set to provide the FNQLHSSC with annual financial assistance of up to $2 million for a period of three years. As a result, leaders from the 29 eligible communities could receive support in their efforts to carry out projects to improve the living conditions of families. Funding has already been allocated for three communities and eight other communities have expressed their interest in launching a project.
This partnership is an opportunity for both organizations to pool their knowledge, to the benefit of Aboriginal children and their families. Members from participating communities will receive guidance from the FNQLHSSC to develop action plans that reflect their Aboriginal culture and values as well as strategies that take into account the challenges faced by the communities and their expectations. Note that the Abenaki, Algonquin (Anishinabeg), Atikamekw, Malecite, Mi'gmaq, Innu, Mohawk, Huron-Wendat and Naskapi Nations have more than 3900 children; 11% of these children are under the age of five, and one child in four lives in poverty.
The partnership with Avenir d'enfants is in keeping with the strategic directions laid out in the 2007-2017 Quebec First Nations Health and Social Services Blueprint and the FNQLHSSC's 2011-2014 Strategic Plan, which, among other things, prioritize the healthy development of children between the ages of zero and six as well as social development in early childhood. In this light, the FNQLHSSC and Avenir d'enfants will be called on to support and fund activities, projects and initiatives that aim to:
- Begin to foster the overall development (physical, psychological, cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional) of children as early as possible, while recognizing the pivotal role of parents
- Provide support to parents, as early as the first stages of pregnancy, by equipping them with the tools that are most likely to contribute to their child's development
- Give each child the opportunity to reach his or her full potential