As the number of new Aboriginal Supported Child Development Programs was increasing across BC, the need for provincial coordination and support was recognized by the Ministry of Child and Family Development. Responding, MCFD provided funding in April 2010, and the Provincial Office for Aboriginal Infant Development was expanded to include the Provincial Advisor for Aboriginal Supported Child Development Programs. The AIDP Provincial Advisor is located in Victoria, BC hosted by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) and the ASCD Provincial Advisor works from a satellite office in the Okanagan.
In June 2014, Nadine Gagné-L’Hirondelle stepped into the role when the previous Advisor Danielle Smith moved onto the new Early Years office of MCFD. Nadine is a proud Metis person with Cree/Iroquois and French/English ancestry. Nadine is a mother of three beautiful children and resides in the beautiful Syilx territory in Peachland, BC.
Nadine has worked within the field of Aboriginal early childhood development for sixteen years in a variety of capacities ranging from front-line, to supervisor and management positions, as well as holding regional advisor positions. She has completed her ECE, her Infant and Toddler Certificate and Special Needs ECE certificate, as well as completing her Diploma in Infant Development and Supported Child Development from UBC. She continues to pursue ongoing professional development and has various training in assessments and screening tools such as AEPS, Battelle and ASQ3 and ASQ/SE. Other training includes Partnership Training, Responsive Teaching; Make the Connection, Mother Goose, among numerous other training and train the trainer.
Today Nadine remains fiercely passionate about supporting Aboriginal communities to build capacity in Aboriginal early childhood development. She continues to advocate that “all Aboriginal children deserve quality early childhood supports regardless of where they reside in the Province.” She is currently finishing her second Aboriginal children’s CD and looks forward to sharing it with the programs she supports upon its completion in the fall of 2014.
As the Provincial Advisor, Nadine’s role will be to contribute to the overall coordination, training, resources and support for ASCD programs and services to Aboriginal children and families in British Columbia. The Provincial Advisor is the key point of contact and provides expert advice, consultation, support, information, resources, coordination and leadership for Aboriginal Supported Child Development Programs and ASCD staff across the province.