Unifor and CN Rail have donated $250,000 to the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society (BCACCS) to support the expansion of an innovative program that uses Indigenous toys and stories to enhance language development in children.
“Unifor is proud to partner with CN to assist BCACCS’s work to deliver a spiritually enriching, high quality, early learning program that is based in the child’s Indigenous culture, language and history,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
BCACCS plans to adapt and expand its popular Moe the Mouse™ Speech and Language Development Program to meet the cultural and linguistic needs of on and off reserve Indigenous early childhood development programs in the six regions of Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Yukon, and the Maritime Provinces.
“As a long-time leader in the creation of Indigenous early learning and child care resources like the Moe the Mouse Speech and Language Development Program, the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society is honoured to receive this generous donation from the Unifor Social Justice Fund and CN Rail,” said Mary Teegee, BC Aboriginal Child Care Society Board President.
Unifor represents approximately 6,000 CN employees. The donation was jointly presented by Jerry Dias, Unifor National President, and Tristan Jenkin, CN Account Manager, at Unifor’s BC Regional Council in Whistler.
In the coming months, BCACCS will network with its regional partners and community sites to integrate local Indigenous culture and language content while maintaining the integrity of the Moe the Mouse curriculum.
“This funding will support our joint efforts for social justice and strengthen collaboration across Canada. It will help Indigenous children, families and communities strengthen early learning and child care programs, revitalize Indigenous languages, and promote the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action," said Teegee.