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NEWS RELEASE · 19th December 2010
Gingolx Village Government
A First Nations community in the Northwest is celebrating the grand opening of a new child care centre, which will integrate traditional cultural elements in its program and provide a valuable service to local families, announced Children and Family Development Minister Mary Polak.

Gingolx Headstart Daycare Centre is a 24-space facility in the Nisga'a Village of Gingolx (Kincolith). The centre will include cultural
activities in its program, including singing, drumming, Nisga'a language learning opportunities, and encouraging community involvement with parents, Chiefs and Elders. The centre will also promote good health through healthy food choices.

"We are very pleased to help introduce this important child-care centre in Gingolx Village to support working families and families who want to further their education," said Polak.

"The Gingolx Headstart Daycare Centre will offer a safe, nurturing, learning-based and culturally relevant environment for infants and young children."

"I commend the Nisga'a Nation for their commitment to making sure the next generation carries forward their vibrant culture and language," said Barry Penner, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.

"The new child-care centre will introduce Nisga'a culture into the everyday life of children at an age when they are eager to learn. The centre will bring together different generations with the common goal of caring for children and teaching them about their proud identity as Nisga'a citizens."

This child-care centre was created with $500,000 in major capital funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Gingolx Village Government contributed an additional $274,000 towards the project.

The funding went toward the purchase of a residential property as well as renovations, bringing it up to child-care licensing regulations. The two-storey facility has its infant-toddler program on the first floor (eight licensed spaces), and its 30-months-to-school-aged program on the second floor (16 licensed spaces). The second phase of the project will be to build a new outdoor playground for the centre, which will be funded by the Gingolx Village Government.

"Our true identity and strength lies in the Nisga'a language and culture. The Nisga'a language is on the verge of extinction and our culture is rapidly declining due to changes in society and the world," said Chief Councillor Nelson Clayton, on behalf of the Gingolx Village Government. "Education has always been a top priority for Gingolx, and we see this new program, which incorporates our language and culture, as a fantastic step forward with toddlers learning together. Our efforts in education with children in mind will lead the way into the future."

Gingolx borders the Alaska Panhandle in northwest B.C. at the mouth of the Nass River, with a population of approximately 500 people. Gingolx is one of four Nisga'a villages that make up the Nisga'a Nation. This is the second on reserve child care centre for the community.

The B.C. government partners with child care providers to create and support a sustainable child care system. The B.C. government will spend over $300 million on child care this year, including the funding of 97,000 licensed child-care spaces throughout the province.

Since 2003, nearly $7 million has been invested in capital projects to expand the number of licensed child-care spaces for Aboriginal and First Nations children in B.C.
hey, nice weather in the nass
Comment by Maureen on 19th December 2010
If we were to go by the picture associated with the article, it would seem summer never ends in the Nass Valley. Congrats on the child care centre - cause for sunshine no doubt!