Aboriginal Head Start Program

Northwest Territories

The Western Arctic Aboriginal Head Start Council (WAAHSC)

A council of the NWT programs was established in 1998 to provide a voice for Aboriginal children, parents, families, and staff and to support the direction of the NWTAHS programs. The NWT council was modelled after the National Aboriginal Head Start Council that was formed at the onset of the program, to represent each AHSUNC program across Canada. The NWT council was named the Western Arctic Aboriginal Head Start Council (WAAHSC), and remains in operation today. Highlights of the WAAHSC are listed below.

1996-1997 The first group of AHSUNC programs in the NWT opened their doors for children, parents, and communities.
1998
The Western Arctic Aboriginal Head Start Council (WAAHSC) started.
2000
The WAAHSC initiate their own outcome evaluation, to follow a participatory action model, where sites guided the process.
2001/2002 &
2003/2004

Two rounds of completed pre/post-test program evaluation data. AHSUNC classroom quality and child outcome measures repeated.
2007
Release of NWTAHS booklet: “Ten Years of Aboriginal Head Start in the NWT-1996-2006” includes highlights from all eight NWTAHS sites and evaluation data collected in 2001 /2002 & 2003/2004.
2008
Longitudinal evaluation of AHSUNC graduates began in Ndilo and Yellowknife, Bechoko, Hay River and Fort Providence.
2008
Presentation by WAAHSC representatives at Head Start’s 9th National Research Conference Presentation title: “To Test or Not To Test: Lessons to In form Policy and Practice from the Evaluation of Head Start in Eight Culturally Distinct Communities,” in Washington DC.
2009
First planning session of the NWTAHS Curriculum- Yellowknife, NWT.
2009
Presentation at National Indian Head Start Directors Association 19th Management Training Conference, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Presentation- “Using Evaluation for Social and Political Advocacy.”
2009
Release of the Final Report: “Making a Difference in the Northwest Territories - Longitudinal Evaluation Report: Aboriginal Head Start in the Northwest Territories.” Report also includes a detailed description of the NWT Model of Program Evaluation.
2010
Presentation by WAAHSC representatives at Head Start’s 10th Nationa Research Conference Presentation- three poster presentations.
2011
First Edition-Pilot training held at the AHSUNC site in Ndilo, NWT.