- In February 2006, the Huu-ay-aht Elders (Nananiiqsu), parents and children started meeting to plan a language nest program.
- With funding obtained by Denny Durocher, the community hosted an 8 week language nest pilot project that was facilitated by Nancy Logan.
- In 2007, HFN hired an Early Childhood Educator, Kathy Waddell, to facilitate the program and to expand services to include preschool and child care.
- The language nest was named “Paawats” meaning “nest” in Huu-ay-aht.
- The Early Childhood Educator’s role is to implement a quality program for the children. Children are gifts from the Creator and deserve the best care and education we can give them.
- The Anacla Paawats is a licensed facility with Island Health.
- Paawats operates three times per week year round.
- Whenever possible, parents are encouraged to attend with their children, so that they learn enough to encourage language at home.
- The early childhood educator supports the children’s learning by planning play activities that are appropriate to the age and skill levels of the children.
- The children play and learn through a variety of activities including art, playdough, blocks, puzzles, and books.
- The elders bring Huu-ay-aht knowledge including traditional teachings, culture and language.
- The elders speak to the children and each other in Huu-ay-aht language as much as possible.
- We have a language circle time of approximately 15 – 20 minutes where the children enjoy songs, rhymes, and games in Huu-ay-aht.
- The children who attend learn Huu-ay-aht words for indigenous animals, body parts, colors, counting, family names (grandma, baby, etc.) and a variety of commonly used words and phrases.
- After language circle, everyone enjoys a nutritious lunch.
- Building on the success of Anacla Paawats, the Port Alberni Paawats was opened in November 2014 and looks forward to serving Huu-ay-aht families in the Port Alberni region.
For more information, please call:
Paawats Early Childhood Centre – Pachena: 250.728.3083
Paawats Early Childhood Centre – Port Alberni: 250.723.0898