The Blog

Follow along as we work towards systems change and help create better outcomes for kids in our community.

Child Centred Model

March 26, 2015

The past year at the project has formed a solid foundation for our team at the Winnipeg Boldness Project. I would like to share two highlights of work that has been accomplished as we transition into the next phase of the project:

1) The child-centered model, and
2) A community vision of success and wellbeing within early childhood development.

Each of these contribute to our understanding of what is needed in order to achieve the Bold Goal: Children and families in Point Douglas experience dramatically improved wellbeing in all aspects of self: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

One of the most significant products of year one is Ways of Knowing, Being, Feeling, and Doing: A Wholistic Early Childhood Development Model (pictured below). The Model is the result of collaboration with the Community Leadership Guide Group. This child-centered model identifies the practices and approaches that have long been understood and successfully implemented by community based organizations in Point Douglas, while helping to identify the gaps and barriers that limit the ability of these ways of working to realize their full potential. The model is rooted in principles such as wholism, interconnectedness, balance, equity, belonging, self-determination, peer-to-peer learning, trust, and respect.

Another key area from the last year is the culmination of the community action research. The following excerpt provides insight into the following questions: what does it mean to be successful, to be healthy, and to have improved early childhood development outcomes for kids in Point Douglas?

Wellbeing of children 0-6 years of age is supported through the healthy development of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions of self.

Children flourish within nurturing relationships and environments that provide safety and hope. Healthy development is supported by positive, interconnected, and interdependent relationships including: parents, grandparents, extended families, informal networks of care, formal systems such as daycare and education, and communities.

Success and healthy development for children is also linked to their family’s wellbeing, opportunities, and self-determination. A family’s access to basic needs such as nutritious food, safe, affordable and stable housing, as well as a consistent and appropriate level of income support healthy child development.

What we have heard from community so far is that the follow areas require attention to ensure that young children are provided opportunities for healthy development include:

  1. Equitable opportunities for all children to ensure that they are happy, healthy, and living a good life
  2. Ample resources for families to ensure that they are supported and have all of their basic needs met
  3. A renewed neighbourhood that is safe, clean, and has adequate spaces for children and families
  4. Systems that operate from a best practice model with policies that put families first

Many of the gaps and barriers that have been identified throughout the first year of work involve complex networks including large systems. To address these issues, The Winnipeg Boldness Project is engaging in Social Innovation and Collective Impact processes. These activities will build upon current partnerships to include a wider range of cross sector stakeholders, while maintaining current relationships and commitment to Community Engagement principles.

Land Acknowledgement

The Winnipeg Boldness Project resides in and works on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), Anishinabewaki (Oji-Cree), Dené, Michif Piyii (Métis), Nêhiyawak (Cree), and Očhéthi Sakowin (Dakota). We recognize that we have benefited from and continue to benefit from colonization on the Treaty 1, Treaty 3, and Treaty 5 Territories.

It is important to also acknowledge how we benefit in this territory at the cost to Indigenous Peoples. Winnipeg has been drinking clean water for over a century via an aqueduct from Shoal Lake. In 1917, 3000 acres of Treaty 3 was declared property of the city of Winnipeg to build the aqueduct. This aqueduct was built over ancestral burial ground, to build these structures, the ancestors were disinterred and reburied. Construction of the aqueduct changed the waters significantly, causing the peninsula to become a man-made island. This now isolated Nation faced many challenges as a direct result from this aqueduct; Necessities like water, groceries, schools, and mail were only accessible via the dangerous trek to the mainland. Lives of adults and children were lost crossing to and from the mainland. Freedom Road, an all-weather road access finally opened summer 2019, over a century after displacement. This road, a testament to the success of Indigenous-led solutions, helps bring materials to build schools and a water treatment plant.

“I always think of it, even when I turn on the tap I’m like this comes from our community and this water probably contains our ancestors and the spirits of our ancestor. I think about the hardships of the people from Shoal Lake 40 who have gone through so many things for the benefit of Winnipeg’s drinking water,” says Angelina McLeod.1

Another benefit we reap in Winnipeg at a cost to Indigenous Peoples and land is the Hydro Electricity Development in Treaty 5. To optimize water movement for greatest power production the Province of Manitoba increased waterflow by creating the Churchill River Diversion in 1976. The modification of the waterflow caused flooding, shoreline erosion, and changes to water quality. This destruction of habitat has caused disruption to waterway travel, fishing, and hunting.