The North Vancouver Island Aboriginal Infant Development Program (NVIA-AIDP) is a division of the 'Namgis Community Services. The NVI-AIDP Port Hardy Satellite office has recently moved into a newly renovated office area at the centre in December 2017.
The program's focus is on the child as a whole, to include health, intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. We offer services that are culturally safe whether the family lives on- or off-reserve and do not have to be affiliated with a band. NVI-AIDP also offers supports for Aboriginal families and infants who are at risk of or have a development delay. NVI-AIDP services are voluntary, family-centred, and for children aged 0-6 years. We support families by providing home visits, activity planning, intervention services, speech and language, occupational and physiotherapy. We recognize the important of Elders and extended family in parenting. We offer a lending library that includes videos, books, journals and toys with adaptive equipment. The program is specific to each community on the North Island.
Ten years ago we started our journey at SWFC and during those years we have found ourselves in working partnerships with the centre and school district 85. We have moved to a couple of locations across the region to better service our clients and offer programs which are better suited to families. We found that over time the centre was the best fit for providing these services.
The program has also partnered with the centre's child development program, which has brought a cultural drop-in playgroup every Wednesday afternoon for young children with nutritional snacks for everyone involved. Recent funding has also allowed the program to produce four templates for headpieces: a wolf, bear, eagle and thunderbird, along with eight button blanket designs, and eight drum and drumsticks. This is to provide the children with an opportunity to become familiar with the use of regalia in a fun, safe environment. Once the regalia was completed, much of the remaining funds were used to host a celebration feast with the community at the centre.
For this year, the program looks forward to continuing the partnership that was established with Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre.