PEP Glossary

NOTE: See the Glossary of Terms on page 39 in the AHS Principles and Guidelines (P&G) for more definitions.


Aboriginal: The term Aboriginal people refers to the Indigenous inhabitants of Canada when we want to refer in a general manner to Inuit, First Nations and Métis people, without regard to their separate origins and identities.


Children with Special Needs: (full description on page 39 in P&G)

  1. Children who face barriers to normal development and functioning in one or more of the following areas of development: physical, social, emotional, communication, intellectual, behavioural;

  2. Children who have increased vulnerability to environmental and non-environmental stresses, including those related to family, social, economic and cultural circumstances;

  3. Children who require supports in addition to those provided by a classroom teacher. Many children have not had their needs formally assessed. Children who have been assessed could have the following exceptionalities…

Community: A body of people unified by common interests, usually living in a specific locality. The common interest is providing children three to five years of age with an Aboriginal Head Start experience so that they take initiative in learning throughout their lives. The urban AHS community, which may change with each new enrollment year, includes members from many different cultural backgrounds.


Criminal Record Check: (see p 34-36 of P&G) A criminal record or police record is a record of a person’s criminal history, generally used by potential employers, lenders, and others to assess his or her trustworthiness.


Culture: Culture is the basic foundation of our life. It reflects the way we live, the things we use and what we believe and value.


Cultural Calendar: To ensure a connection to the land, it is important that the program is based on a culturally appropriate calendar for the local territory. The seasonal activities, traditions and customs are reflected in the curriculum. Once a cultural calendar is established, it provides a landscape for the other five AHS components to be incorporated.


Cultural Protocol: Cultural protocols refer to the customs, lore and codes that guide the behaviour of a particular cultural group. Protocols are present in all cultures and observing the cultural protocols of a community demonstrates respect for the cultural traditions, history and diversity of that community.


Elder/ Traditional Knowledge Keeper: Those who have received and share traditional knowledge to provide vision and guidance regarding cultural and territorial protocol, customs and values; these may be Elders, Healers, Cultural Teachers, Cultural Resource persons or others.


Family: Parents, step-parents, guardians, Grandparents and extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives who play a role in the child’s life and supports the child.


Language: Language is the way that knowledge is passed down through the ages, in stories, song, teachings, and beliefs. It reflects the relationships that underlie the cultural foundations of a People. Being surrounded by their language is the way children learn how to act, think, speak and live in their culture.


Leadership/ Governance: See Sponsor below.


Parent Body: (see p.41 in P&G) A group of parents who have a common function, e.g., a Parent Council or Parent Advisory Council (PAC). The purpose of the Parent Body is to allow the parents of the children in the project to participate in the Project governance. The Parent Body will include parents of children currently participating in the program.

  • Parents, guardians or caregivers of children registered in the program will determine who the members of the Parent Body will be.


  • A Project could also have parents whose children have graduated from AHS and other community members on the Parent Body.


Sponsor: Also called Board/ Board of Directors/ Host Agency/ Leadership/ Governance. (see p. 42 of P&G). The legally incorporated non-profit organization…that signs the Contribution Agreement, the sponsor is responsible for ensuring that the service, Aboriginal Head Start, is delivered and for reporting regularly to AHS Funder/ PHAC/ Government Agency.


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