Aboriginal Children - The Healing Power of Cultural Identity / Les jeunes autochtones : le pouvoir guérisseur de l'identité culturelle
Every day, 10 to 20 toddlers and preschool children gather at the Katl'odeeche First Nation Children's Centre on the Hay River Dene Reserve, Northwest Territories. They are learning South Slavey, the language originally spoken on the reserve. They make crafts and sing songs based on legends and traditional life. They learn about local ceremonies and take part in community events. Culture and language are interwoven into every activity. The centre is an example of a larger movement in Aboriginal communities across the country. Child development experts know that children with positive self-identity are more likely to grow up healthy and Aboriginal leaders have believed this for some time. What's more, they believe that raising children with a strong sense of cultural identity is key to healing the wounds in their communities – and to the survival of their culture. See the PHAC website for more information and links.