Aboriginal Head Start Program

Aboriginal Head Start Program logo

The Grande Prairie Friendship Centre Aboriginal Head Start Program focuses on school readiness and culture. It is the first program of its kind to receive accreditation in Alberta and the first in Canada to receive a daycare license.

The Aboriginal Head Start Program is designed to give children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old the opportunity to develop to their full potential by learning through play. Children develop the self-confidence needed to overcome difficulties in their social environment; preparing them for successful lives in their families, school and community.

About the Program

The program focuses on several components that are key to a child’s development in this stage of life: education, culture, health promotion, nutrition, social support and parent/family involvement.

Through the Aboriginal Head Start Program, we offer:

  • Preschool for children aged 3-5
  • Transportation
  • Hot breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack
  • Parenting classes
  • Elder visits
  • Cultural teachings for families and children
  • Parent advisory circle meetings
  • Developmental assessments
  • Partnerships with community health professionals and the Grande Prairie Public School District
Joleen BatemanProgram Coordinator

Operation Hours

The Aboriginal Head Start Program runs during the school year (September to June). We run classes at the following times:

  • Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00am to 3:30pm
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00am to 3:30pm

Where To Find Us

10105-97 Ave.
(Downstairs - ring buzzer)
Grande Prairie, AB
T8V 0N5

Babies Best Start Program

Babies Best Start logo Babies Best Start is sponsored by Grande Prairie Friendship Centre.

Funding is provided by Health Canada CPNP and CAPC Program

What Is Babies Best Start?

Babies’ Best Start provides non-judgmental support and education on pregnancy and parenting.

Babies Best Start is a CONFIDENTIAL program that offers non-judgmental support, education and advocacy for women/teens…. for pregnant and parenting women of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

The program helps women make healthy choices about nutrition, breastfeeding, stress reduction, prenatal support, parenting programs and more. We may also provide milk and vitamins to qualifying mothers during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Babies’ Best Start works with public health nurses and dietitians in local communities to provide up-to-date information on programs available to new and expecting mothers.

How Will You Benefit?

Our Outreach Workers have experience and/or training with pregnancy and parenting, and understand the stresses involved. They are ready to help you with any of your pregnancy and parenting related questions and concerns.

We also work alongside public health nurses and dietitian in local communities to provide up-to-date information.

Babies Best Start offers:

  • Breastfeeding information and support
  • Support in decision making
  • Information & answers to your questions about pregnancy and parenting
  • Milk Coupons and vitamin supplements to eligible mothers
  • Connections to community services
  • Parenting programs and group activities
  • Information Brochures
  • Gently used free child and infant clothing (0-6yrs)
  • Resource books & video lending

Program Participants

Babies Best Start is for any pregnant woman or teen, or for any mother with a child under the age of six. All services are free and confidential, and women participating in Babies Best Start choose which services they receive.

Babies’ Best Start may be for you if:

  • you have any questions/concerns about pregnancy or parenting
  • you are looking for breastfeeding information or support
  • you would like information about pregnancy or parenting
  • you would like to social emotional support, such as someone to talk to
  • you would like support in maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • you would like to meet other mothers and share experiences
  • you are looking for a safe environment for your child/children to interact with others their age

Group Activities

Groups provide the opportunity for mothers to share their experiences. The following groups may be available in your community:

  • Fresh Food Bags
  • Cooking Circles
  • Prenatal/Mothers’ Drop-in Groups
  • Breastfeeding Support Group
  • Collective Kitchens
  • Grocery Store Tour (winter/spring)
Isobel Rondeau photo
Isobel RondeauProgram Coordinator

Who Do You Contact?

Intake Sites:
  • Clairmont
  • Grande Prairie
  • Grovedale
  • Hythe
  • Sexsmith
  • Wembley
 780-532-5766

Where To Find Us

10507-98 Ave.
(Eastside parking lot - Steel purple door)
Grande Prairie, AB
T8V 4L1

Mamewpitaw-Family Preservation Program

Mamewpitaw-Family Preservation Program logo

Mamewpitaw is a Cree word meaning “Family Gathers Together Again”.

Mamewpitaw is an early intervention program for families at risk or families who desire reunification. It works with the traditional teaching of the Aboriginal Medicine Wheel that tells us people are made up of four parts: spirit, emotion, mind and body. Through these four components, a person can see, feel, know, and do.

In partnership with the Children & Family Services Authority, this program provides opportunities to improve the wellbeing and self-reliance of urban Aboriginal people involved with Region 8 Child and Family Services.

Cultural Teachings

The Mamewpitaw team provides support guided by the Seven Sacred Teachings: Love, Courage, Humility, Wisdom, Honesty, Truth, and Respect. Through this foundation, we are there to meet the needs of the children with respect, mutual goals, and the intent of gathering families together.

The foundation and strength of all programs and services depends upon sharing information from local culture and tradition, including elders teachings, cultural healing and ceremonies.

Family Enhancement Programs

Life Skills

The main focus of life skills coaching is to work on goals set out by the case worker and the client by enhancing their parenting skills, confidence, and understanding of child development so they are better able to meet their children’s needs.

Parenting Between Two Worlds

The main goal for this program is to teach respect, belonging, love, honoring, humility, courage and wisdom by way of parenting that combines a traditional view and the western view. The program focuses on collaborative relationships, safe visitations and teaching circles.

Connecting Champions

This program provides youth in care or at risk with healthy, youthful and cultural role models. The role models provide services to youth that may reside in foster homes, kinship homes, group homes, or live independently.

Abby Bourque photo
Abby BourqueProgram Coordinator

Where To Find Us

10105-97 Ave.
(Upstairs - ring buzzer)
Grande Prairie, AB
T8V 0N5

Northern Indigenous Health Alliance

Northern Indigenous Health Alliance logo

The Northern Indigenous Health Alliance is a five-year program funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada to reduce behaviours of those at risk of contracting HIV, Hepatitis C, and other blood-borne pathogens.

The program focuses on building relations within the community to encourage people to know their status through regular screen processes.

Our culture is one of acceptance. Our project welcomes ALL people.

Services

All of our services are free and confidential.

  • Support for people living with HIV, Hepatitis C, STIs, or BBPs
  • Connection to traditional Indigenous ceremonies, medicines and elders
  • Information, education and awareness about HIV, Hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and blood-borne pathogens (BBPs) and testing
  • Free safer sex supplies
  • Preventative programs

Traditional Culture

We can connect Indigenous clients with local Elders and traditional medicines. Through GPFC, we also offer traditional teachings and work to base our programs from an Indigenous worldview.

Natascha Okimaw photo
Natascha OkimawCultural Navigator

One Window Resource

One Window Resource logo

One Window Resource Is a community-based drop-in program that addresses the needs of individuals who are considered at risk or in need. The program works to provide non-financial services that will help the individual sustain stability in our community.

Available On Site

  • Emergency food closet
  • Free gently used clothing
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Information resource area
  • Agency referrals
  • Free bread
  • Computer/internet access
  • Job board listings
  • 3 evening meals per week (see hours) and activities as scheduled

Your Support

The Centre is always seeking donations such items as:

  • Toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Gently used and clean clothing (for youth 17+, men and women)
  • Socks
  • Feminine products
  • Hair brushes
  • Food for our emergency food hamper

Thank you for your continued support of donations.

Maureen Laboucan
Maureen LaboucanProgram Coordinator

Operation Hours

  • Mon 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • Tues 12:00pm to 6:30pm
  • Wed 1:00pm to 6:30pm
  • Thurs, 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • Fri 12:00pm to 6:30pm
  • Closed: weekends & stat holidays

Supper Night: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:00pm

Where To Find Us

10513-98 Avenue
(West front, double glass doors)
Grande Prairie, AB
T8V 4L1

On-Campus Friendship Centre

On-Campus Friendship Centre logo

The On-Campus Grande Prairie Friendship Centre is a partnership between GPFC and Grande Prairie Regional College. Open to all students, the Centre provides a warm and welcoming environment to connect with other students, meet faculty and staff and seek out college and community support for adjusting to college life and life in a new city.

What To Expect

  • Computers & internet access to assist with research and homework
  • Telephone and fax access (rates are posted at the centre)
  • Bookable meeting room
  • Elder in residence, available to provide traditional supports and guidance as requested by students
  • A place to visit, relax, enjoy a coffee or bring your lunch (microwave and refrigerator available for use)

Operation Hours

  • Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00am to 3:30pm

Where To Find Us

Grande Prairie Regional College, Room B205 CAS On Campus
10726-106 Avenue
Grande Prairie, AB
T8V 4C4

Pitone Youth Group

Pitone program logo
Pitone program collage

Pitone Youth Group is a new program for all youth aged 12 to 17, run together with the Northern Indigenous Health Alliance and One Window Resource. The program focuses on health, sexuality, culture and youth issues.

Drop by every second Monday for a light snack and activities based on the traditional values of the seven sacred teachings: love, honesty, respect, courage, humility, wisdom and truth.

No cost to join - simply pop in and fill out an application.

Operation Hours

  • Varies On Events

Where To Find Us

10513-98 Avenue
Grande Prairie, AB
T8V 4L1