Par Chantal Cleary | déc. 14, 2015

Sixteen years ago marked the very first meeting of the First Nations Early Childhood Regional Advisory Committee (FNECRAC). In 1999, the chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) mandated the FNECRAC, through the FNQLHSSC, to back strategies targeting early childhood development among First Nations.



The committee’s mandate is to advise, make recommendations as well as promote and orient the elaboration and implementation of strategies, initiatives, activities and programs for early childhood development among First Nations in the region of Quebec, while ensuring the respect of the culture, language and autonomy of each First Nation.

Its main roles are the following:

•            Foster the exchange of information and networking in and between First Nations communities

•            Determine needs in terms of training, instructional material development and support

•            Assist the FNQLHSSC’s Early Childhood Sector with the organization of regional meetings and training for people working in early childhood

•            Foster the recognition of First Nations competencies by providing support to the FNQLHSSC’s Early Childhood Sector for the development of work tools designed by and for First Nations


To that end, the committee has established five priority areas:

1.           Language and culture, which cut across a range of themes

2.           Promotion of early childhood development

3.           Parental skills and responsibility

4.           Special needs

5.           Promotion of healthy lifestyle habits


New committee members


Every year, the committee renews the mandates of members, for a period of two years.


The committee is composed of ten First Nations members whose fields of expertise are associated with early childhood: 



Committee members

Kathy Black - (Atikamekw)

Richard Dussault - (Huron-Wendat)

Tania Courtois - (Innu)

Marcelline Thernish - (Innu)

Deborah Delisle Giasson - (Mohawk)

Amanda Larocque - (Mi’gmaq)

Sabine Mestokosho - (Innu)

New committee members

Marie-Josée Jacobs - Ottawa (Atikamekw)

Tina Martin - (Mi’gmaq)

Mario Piétacho - [U1](Innu)


Oskar Kistabish - (Anishnabe)

Marilyn Chevrier-Wills - (Anishnabe)


The committee meets three times per year: once in Montréal, once in the city of Québec, and once in one of the communities. This year, the meeting was held in the Atikamekw community of Manawan. We want to thank the Centre Mère-Enfant for making us feel so welcome during the two-day meeting!


We also want to take this opportunity to highlight the dedication and commitment of the members who, now that their mandates have come to an end, are leaving the strategy development committee for FIRST NATIONS EARLY CHILDHOOD.


Miguetch! Monik Kitsabish, Anishnabe from Pikogan

Tshinashkumitinan! Sylvie Pinette, Innu from Uashat

Miguetch! Cheryl Tenasco, Anishnabe from Kitigan Zibi


And to the new members: Welcome aboard!