Project Profile: Mother Bear Child Development Centre
The wonderfully named Mother Bear Child Development Centre, Chesha7 Mix̱alh Méńmen Xwemélch’stn, officially opened its doors last year. The Center is situated within X̱wemelch’stn, Capilano 5, British Columbia, Canada, the largest populated reserve for Squamish people, so it’s meant a lot to the Squamish Nation community to now have access to a brand new, high quality daycare that meets the needs of their children and families. The inside and outside environments of the center are beautifully integrated with indoor and outdoor learning opportunities, and the center has a strong focus on child development, ensuring that children’s gifts are harnessed and supported from an early stage.
The $1.3-million project was partly funded by the provincial British Columbia government, which allocated $900,000 towards the center as part of a greater initiative to fund 103 childcare projects across BC, and the Squamish Nation, which contributed $400,000. This has allowed the center to cater to up to 44 children, split into two programs with 32 spaces for children 30-months to school age and 12 spaces for children under 36 months old.
“It’s really about connecting our children, right from the earliest age, from supporting our families to come in and have their children learn our Squamish values and teachings and build a really strong self identity that allows them to create that foundational base around our culture so that they themselves, along with their parents, become really active members of our community to ensure that our culture, our language and our teachings survive.” – Chris Lewis, Syeta’xtn, spokesperson for Squamish Nation
The Squamish Nation Community is, and always has been, deeply committed to environmental stewardship, so Natural Pod was very honored to be able to outfit the Mother Bear Child Development Center with truly sustainable, value aligned learning furniture that supports the teaching, learning and play that happens there.
It’s a really wonderful centre, and will allow the child who attend, their families and the Squamish Nation Community to thrive for generations to come. Thank you to The Mother Bear Child Development Center for sharing this lovely video with us.