Education Sector

"Let us put our minds together and see what kind of life we can make for our children" -Sitting Bull


Kitigan Zibi Odekan - Head Start Program

367 Paganakomin Mikan
Maniwaki, Quebec
J9E 3B1

Tel: 819-449-2702
Fax: 819-449-3361


Odekan is a holistic program which develops the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth of each child. Our aim is to promote and encourage the growth and development of infants, toddlers and preschool children. The Odekan program is based on these six main components:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Cultural & Language Development
  • Social Support
  • Parent Involvement

Our program focuses on child development from the ages 0-6. The goal of the Odekan program is to provide support to families and extended families with young children in areas such as teething, breast feeding, developmental milestones, emotional and physical well being etc..

The mental health portion of the program focuses on the promotion of positive self-worth, respect for individual differences and the ability to develop appropriate social skills. As well, children are given the opportunity to take part in cultural activities that encourage self identification and being proud of being Anishinabe. Odekan works to encourage children to feel confident of themselves,their family and their culture.

Operation of the Odekan includes teamwork and open communication involving staff, parents/guardians and community resources. The program will provide a positive and stimulating environment enriched with love, security, comfort and understanding.

What is the Odekan Headstart & Home Support Program?

It is a program that:

  • Takes place in the homes of families who have young children.
  • Arranges group activities at the Odekan family resource centre.
  • Supports parents by providing ideas about how to help their children grow, develop and learn.
  • Offers a program for three year old children.
  • Works to promote collaboration among all existing services in the community so as to provide the best service to children.

Who is the program for?

  • Families with children between the age of 0 - 6 years old.
  • Women and their parents who are expecting a child.
  • Families who are living in and are members of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg.

How does the program work?

Home Visits

  • We visit parents and young children at home and offer parents the opportunity to borrow toys, books and videos from the Odekan library.
  • We provide parents with knowledge on how they can help their children develop.
  • We provide parents with information about resources and services within and around the Kitigan Zibi Community.

Drop In Day

We offer specific days when parents, grandparents or childcare providers can drop in at Odekan to look at books on parenting, pamphlets, children's books, relax and let children play. Odekan will also have a list of resources and service providers within and around the Kitigan Zibi Community for parents to access.

Community Outreach

We provide information to parents, grandparents, guardians and child care providers on child growth and development.

We organize parenting workshops for new parents, grandparents and guardians.

We deliver welcome baskets to mothers with newborns.

We offer organized activities at several community locations that promote physical and mental growth.

We provide services to maximize the full potential of children with disabilities or special needs.

For children that attend the Odekan program, we assist parents in detecting learning difficulties that may interfere with a child's development.

We may act as a liaison for parents and community workers in obtaining therapy and resources.

We organize special community events and field trips for families to take part in. Themes include: Culture and Language, Family inclusion activities, Movement with visits to the Gymnasium and youth centre, etc.

Playgroup Sessions

We organize specific times when parents and/or grandparents can gather to interact and play.

Caregiver's Afternoon Out

We offer parents, grandparents, guardians or caregiver the opportunity to drop off their children at Odekan for a three hour period.

Three Year Old Program (Sagabigoni) School Readiness

We help to enable children to successfully integrate into Kindergarten. The program will involve development of the whole child (social, physical, intellectual, cultural, emotional development).

For more information please call: 819-449-2702

And ask to speak to Odekan's coordinator, Valerie Decontie.

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