Little Feathers Aboriginal Playgroup
Little Feathers Aboriginal Playgroup is a free weekly morning program for children 0-6, parents and caregivers, offered through a partnership with the Langley Child Development Centre, Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society, Aldergrove Neighbourhood Services Society, and School District #35. The program takes place on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 am – 11:15 am in the Strong Start Room of Douglas Park School in Langley.
Little Feathers provides a place where Aboriginal families with young children from birth to 6 years can gather and interact with other Aboriginal families and Elders in the Langleys. Together, children learn Aboriginal Culture through traditional teachings, drumming, songs, stories, circle time, crafts, snack and more in a family-friendly setting. A local Elder provides knowledge and support.
The playgroup offers an Aboriginal component to the overall play and circle time activities along with occasional guests offering information of interest to parents. The playgroup facilitator, together with Elder Josette Dandurand, from Kwantlen First Nation, weave Aboriginal culture into the program activities. A Consultant from Langley Child Development Centre’s Aboriginal Infant and Supported Child Development Program attends each session to address any questions or concerns parents or caregivers may have regarding their child’s development. A community liaison facilitator also attends; providing information about community services, engaging guest speakers, and organizing a nutritious snack each session.
Parents are provided with a Family Handbook, explaining key concepts of the program, policies, cultural information, and safety procedures for the site.
Little Feathers playgroup was developed as a direct response to an in-depth community development project that took place in Langley. The project specifically focused on what services and supports were available to the Urban Aboriginal population in Langley. The findings suggested families with young children were in need of services that offered opportunities to connect families to each other while supporting their child's development.
Other communities have shown an interest in this multi-partnered approach to offering family resource services to their Urban Aboriginal families.