A new partnership between Seabird Island Band and the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre will help make sure kids can receive culturally sensitive speech-language pathology services.
“This partnership will enable us to strengthen relationships and cultural understanding, while delivering critical support to children and families in the Seabird Island community,” Karen Dickenson Smith, executive director of the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre, said in a release.
“It is part of our shared commitment to building healthier, more unified and inclusive communities.”
Seabird Island and the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre have been working together for more than a decade, with the development centre’s occupational therapists and physiotherapists spending time with local clients. Seabird Island had its own speech-language pathology program, Ey Qwál, and occasionally someone from the centre would join in to help with particularly complex cases or people needing feeding support.
The new agreement will mark the first formal partnership between the two organizations, and will see the development centre working with staff in Seabird’s Early Childhood team to support children and families.
The services provided will have culture as a focus, encouraging the use of Indigenous languages and providing services based on the family’s priorities.
“All children should have access to the services and supports they need,” Carlene Brown, director of early childhood development at Seabird Island Band, said in a release.
“We hope to help each child reach his or her fullest potential by helping them learn the tools of effective communication.”