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Kanache Awasisak Head Start Centre
Nikanihk Ascahkosak Day Care Centre
Education, Training & Culture Division
 — Health Education Access Program
 — Cree Language Project
 — Cultural Education Project
Employment & Training Services
Social Services Division

Education, Training & Employment
Kanache Awasisak Head Start Centre

Program Description

The Norway House Cree Nation recognizes children as our community’s most valuable resource.

The Kanache Awasisak Head Start Centre provides comprehensive experience for children 2-3 years of age.

The centre is based on caring, creativity, and pride following from the knowledge of our traditional and religious beliefs, within a holistic and safe environment.

Program Activities

The Program offers activities from the six Components:
Culture & Language, Education, Health Promotion, Nutrition, Social Support, Parental & Family Involvement.

Each component is administered through such means as: teaching through the curriculum; community networks with local professionals, agencies, Frontier School Division and Norway House residents; other Head Start programs within Manitoba; and of course, parental support and contributions.

General Information

The Centre services 40 children 2 and 3 years of age, split into groups of twenty. The first group attends for 2 hours in the morning and the second for two hours in the afternoon.

The curriculum is delivered mostly from the years of teaching experience of our Early Childhood Educator.

For more information, contact:

Hazel Colon, Child Care Manager
Phone: (204) 359-4665 or (204) 359-6667

Madeleine Muskego, Head Start Supervisor
Rose Albert, Early Childhood Educator
Phone: (204) 359-8424 or (204) 359-4105
Fax: (204) 359-4318

Nikanihk Ascahkosak Day Care Centre

Box 250
Norway House, Manitoba
Phone: (204) 359-4665
Fax: (204) 359-4704

Operation of the Day Care

The Day Care is opened Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.

The Nikanihk Ascahkosak Day Care Centre provides services for seventy children from ages 3 months to six years.

There is a Parent Advisory Committee which oversees the day care program. The membership consists of four members and assist the management to maintain continuous operation of the day care.

Number of Staff and Children

There are 18 caring individuals who provide adequate care in a safe, nurturing and loving environment.

Age-appropriate activities are provided daily to enhance the overall development of each child in care.

There are two infant rooms with eight infants in each room, one toddler room which has 25 children.

For more information, contact:

Hazel Colon: Child Care Manager
Thelma Robertson: Administrative Assistant
Phone: (204) 359-4665
Fax: (204) 359-4704

Education, Training & Culture Division


1. We are never too old to learn.
2. Learning is a life long process.
3. Education is the foundation upon which we build a healthy and progressive community.
4. Education planning must be community driven.
5. Education is the most important survival skill.
6. We need to acknowledge and value people’s skills and expertise.


The Education, Training & Culture Division of the Norway House Cree Nation values human resource development and is implementing programs and services to ensure accessibility to all the members of the community. Providing quality education to children and adults is an investment in the future. By enhancing education and training opportunities, the Education, Training & Culture Division will facilitate the development of a local and regional sustainable economy.

Elementary and Secondary Education

Norway House Cree Nation has a tuition agreement with Frontier School Division whereby Frontier is responsible for providing education programs and services in accordance with the Public Schools Act.Norway House Cree Nation has established the Norway House School Authority to advise and provide recommendations to Frontier School Division with respect to the provision of education programs and services. Two members of Norway House School Authority are trustees for Area V on the Frontier School Board.

Norway House Cree Nation’s representative on the Norway House School Authority is the Division Manager of the Education, Training & Culture Division. The Division Manager is responsible to oversee and monitor the tuition agreement on behalf of Norway House Cree Nation.

Adult Education

The Adult Education Center offers community members the opportunity to attend classes in an adult class environment. Students are able to obtain grade 9 & 10 credits and upon completion, can enter into the Mature Student Program or the regular high school stream at Norway House High School.

Courses offered are S1 and S2 Language Arts, S1 Social Studies, S2 Geography, S1 & S2 Mathematics and S1 and S2 Science. In addition, to these classes, Basic computer skills, CPR and First Aid are offered. Students attend classes on a full time basis.

There is no tuition cost to the individual attending the Training Center. Student incentives, child care costs, and transportation are provided. To qualify for the student incentive, students are required to have a 90% attendance average. The implementation of child care allowances and transportation have proved to be very successful. Students have expressed their gratitude and say that without it, they would have a difficult time to attend and in most cases would not have been able to come.

Transition Year Program

Program Overview:

The Transition Year Program is administered by Keewatin Community College in partnership with the Education Division of Norway House Cree Nation and Inter-Universities North. First delivered in the community in 1995-96, it is a ten month academic program consisting of a combination of first year college and university introductory courses. Typically, student will study a general selection of courses from a variety of disciplines, the majority of which can be accredited to a first year program either at college or university.

The majority of students entering the TYP are recent high school graduates who are intending on pursuing further studies at the post secondary level. The main objective of the TYP is to offer students post secondary level programming within the community where they have family and community supports. Students may then leave the TYP, and possibly the community, for further study with an increased sense of the expectations of post secondary level education.

Program Content:

The TYP consist of 30 credit hours of academic study. The program is anchored around the core Introduction to University/Post Secondary Education course (3 cr. hrs.), which introduces students to a variety of topics relating to personal and academic development, self-awareness, critical thinking skills and goal/objective planning for future studies or career development. In addition to the Intro U.P.S.E. course, students also take:

6 credit hours in Introductory Sociology
3 credit hours in Basic Math
6 credit hours in Native Studies
3 credit hours in Academic Writing
6 credit hours in Written Communications
3 credit hours in Computer Usage
3 credit hours in English Literature

Health Education Access Program


The Health Education Access Program is an initiative which was created by Keewatin Community College in response to a need expressed by Norway House Cree Nation for a program which would prepare students to enter into medically related fields, in particular the Bachelor of Nursing Program in Norway House, Manitoba. Although the curriculum was designed with the Bachelor of Nursing in mind, the scope of the program is broader, and includes preparation for other medically related professions, such as medicine, dentistry, medical laboratory technician, radiology technician, psychiatric nursing, and pharmacy. Graduation from HEAP is not a guarantee of entrance into those programs. The program gives students the necessary background in order to succeed in those fields, providing the student has the necessary commitment to achieving those goals. A balance between program entrance requirements and those providing the students with the skills and abilities to succeed in science related areas, and in the social sciences was struck. Therefore, although students have the equivalent of Grade XII English, Applied Math, and Biology 40S, they do not take the Grade XII subjects, according to the prescribed curriculum by the Manitoba Department of Education. Graduates of HEAP are advised on the route most likely to lead to success, in their career choice.


The current HEAP is an off-shoot of the Transition Year Program, and hence the aims of this program and the Transition Year Program are the same. Students are taught the necessary academic writing skills, mathematical skills along with basic study skills required to succeed in college or university setting. HEAP also introduces science in the curriculum, with a focus on the life sciences.


HEAP is a Keewatin Community College program offered through the Continuing Education Division, and hence is dependent on the sponsorship from a band such as Norway House Cree Nation. Although HEAP is administered through the Transition Year Program, funding arrangements are separate, and dedicated directly for this particular program. Another indirect partner is the University of Manitoba Nursing Program, as most of the graduates do enter into the Bachelor of Nursing Program in Norway House.

Brandon University Northern Teachers Education Program

BUNTEP is a community based program with the purpose of preparing students for careers as teachers. It is a five year program in which students undertake course work concurrently in the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree program and in the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) degree program. The Education component consists of education course and practical experience in the classroom. The program is geared for middle year’s route - grades five to eight.

Each academic year consists of 10 - 11 months of study divided into four terms: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. Courses are delivered in four to five week blocks with at least one block in each year being devoted to student teachings in the community schools. Courses may consist of lectures, discussions, individual assignments, labs, films, and field trips, depending on the subject studied. Classes are held every day from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Students are expected to attend class every day and to participate in all activities in the centre. Individual study outside class time is necessary. Students are expected to maintain a minimal grade point average of 2.00 (“C”) throughout their degree program. Students may be required to take courses on campus to complete their program.

Centre Coordinator. The centre is administered by a centre coordinator. The coordinator acts as an academic and personal counsellor to students and oversees the general administration of the centre.

Traveling Professor. Courses in the centre are taught in four to five week blocks by members of the Brandon University faculty who travel to the community each week of the course. Courses offered in the centre are equivalent in content and standards to those offered on campus.

Bachelor of Social Work Program

The Bachelor of Social Work Program is delivered in Norway House with the purpose of preparing students for careers in the social services field. The Norway House Cree Nation joined in partnership with the University of Manitoba’s Social Work Faculty to administer the community based Bachelor of Social Work Program. The Bachelor of Social Work Program is designed to educate local students in the foundations and practices of social work as it relates to society. The program offers the same core courses as the University of Manitoba campus but with a specific focus on the culture and needs of northern and aboriginal communities.

Cree Language Project

The Cree of Norway House have a rich heritage and have retained their traditional knowledge of the environment. There are people who still enjoy the lifestyle of hunting, fishing and trapping. Though this lifestyle does not adequately provide a livelihood anymore, the Cree of Norway House have a strong desire to retain the skills and pass the knowledge to their children and grandchildren.

Like the “traditional ways,” the Cree language is equally valued, however the elders and older generation are concerned that the young parents and children in school are not utilizing the Cree language. The older generation believe that the loss of the Cree language is a preliminary step to a loss of the “traditional ways.”

While there is an obvious effort to practice a traditional lifestyle, there is not a conscious effort to retain the Cree language. The Cree language is used less in public forums and English becomes the accepted language of communication.

The fears expressed by the Norway House Cree that the loss of language is synonymous with a loss of culture is consistent with the many studies conducted over the years by aboriginal organizations. There is a perceived national consensus that:

• Native languages are becoming extinct.
• Native language and native culture are synonymous.
• Mother tongue literacy is a prerequisite to the revitalization of Native language.
• Native languages are unique, descriptive and expressive.
• Native languages must be valued.

It is the pending loss of language and culture that has spurred the development of this Cree Language Initiative. The Norway House Cree Nation is proposing to revitalize and maintain the Cree language. This initiative will demonstrate a revitalization model that includes curriculum development, establishment of a Cree Language Resource Center and professional development for Cree language specialists.

Cultural Education Project



1. To research the history of Norway House

• to source funding to continue the ethnohistorical study of Norway House.
• to establish a central collection of print archival material in Norway House.
• to establish a cataloguing system for the current archival collection.
• to source funds to purchase display cases for current archival collection
• to develop a photo gallery of historical photo collection.
• to repatriate or loan Norway House artifacts held at other museums.
• to develop a genealogy research project on Norway House families.
• to assist individual families to develop their family tree.

2. To develop cultural awareness.

• schedule evening handicraft classes on beadwork, moccasins, mitts, gauntlets.
• schedule handicraft classes with school age children.
• develop a booklet with aerial view of Norway House and local historical facts
• schedule demonstration classes on traditional skills in ice fishing, trapping, collecting ice for commercial fishing, hunting.
• schedule classes on preparing and cooking wild meat.
• establish a mentor program where individuals with traditional skills will share those skills with the young people.
• organize day camps or groups of children to learn how to set up a camp, catch wild food, clean and prepare for cooking, make outdoor fire and cook the meal.
• develop an elders program for the schools and post secondary institution in Norway House.
• Host a medicinal herbs workshop.

3. To research, collect and collate Cree Language resources.

• centralize Cree Language collection.
• review the curriculum development and preparation of Cree Language material for the classroom.
• distribute the Cree Language Workshop results.
• implement the recommendation of the report.
• develop a program for Cree Language Teacher training.

4. To establish a lending library with a focus on Native Studies.

• Catalogue existing collection; establish cataloguing of collection on computer; order new books.

Employment & Training Services

Employment & Training Summary:

The employment & training services administers four program areas; employment & training, Youth, Disabilities and Capacity building. Under these four program areas two streams of funding is provided by the federal government under the AHRDA; under Section 63 of the Employment Insurance Act, Employment Insurance (EI) funds are issued to cover the cost of providing benefits and measures to EI recipients or reach back clients and under the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) financial assistance is provided to help develop and implement labour market programs for NHCN members by:

• Providing employment & training programs to individuals/groups to gain skills with a goal of achieving long-term employment opportunities.
• Providing opportunities to the youth to enhance skills required for and to participate in the labour force.
• Providing disabled individuals with services to encourage participation in the labour force.
• Providing outreach services to seek employment opportunities and other program and services related to employment & training and government services.

Programs and Services:

Funding is available to all eligible Norway House Cree Nation members to gain or enhance skills to access long-term employment opportunities.

Applications are accepted year round and should be submitted at least 2 months prior to the start of the training program.

Applications can be requested through our office in Norway House and should be forwarded to us with all supporting documents.

This past year we ran 13 community based programs with 279 participants and sponsored 64 individuals in various trades, vocational and post secondary programs.

We also provided outreach services to approximately 2000 clients in various interventions

For further information about our programs please contact the above staff members at 204-359-6721.

Social Services Division

Work Opportunity Program: (on Community Services page)

These are programs specifically designed to create employment opportunities for social assistance clients. It is the transfer of a client’s income assistance to an organization, project or employer in order to acquire an employment opportunity thus increasing the employability of the client.