Early Childhood

Nih’Kanis Aboriginal Head Start

About the Program

This program focus is on culture, language, social and emotional development, literacy development, health promotion and cognitive development. Children learn the basics; counting, letter recognition, shapes, colors and name writing and recognition. Strong emphasis is put on PLAY as a foundation for social and emotional development. Classes start in September and run till June the following year. It is our hope that these same children will stand together in 12 years as they graduate from the high school and hopefully move on to post-secondary schooling.

The History of Aboriginal Headstart

Established in 1998

Aboriginal Headstart was introduced to Fort Smith in 1998 with the goal of providing a stable early education for Salt River First Nation youth aged three and four. Since the program was established, over 300 children have graduated from the Aboriginal Headstart program and gone on to lead successful academic careers.

We built the Aboriginal Headstart program with the intention of providing the future leaders of Salt River First Nation with an education predicated on our cultural values. We strive to teach the children emotional skills through love and understanding while also developing their practical skills. We’re proud of our program’s history and we’re excited to provide your children with an education that will last a lifetime.

Our Babies, Our Future

About the Program


The OBOF Program operates Monday to Thursday 1-4 pm from September to June each year and is open to expecting mothers and parents/guardians and their children ages 0-2 years old.  The program strives to support the expectant mothers and families in Fort Smith in having a healthy pregnancy and providing the best beginning to their babies up to and including 2 years of age.  Our Babies, Our Future is located at the SRFN Early Childhood Centre at 11 Franklin Avenue. For more information, please contact the Program Coordinator at 867 872 5051.

Our Kids, Our Future

About the Program

This is a new program beginning in the fall of 2023 and will be run in conjunction with the OBOF program to allow the participants in the OBOF program to have their children ages 3-6 join them but participate in specific activities designed for ages 3-6 years old. Look for more information to follow in the near future.

Nih’Kanis Aboriginal Childhood Centre

Visit Us

9 Franklin Avenue,
Fort Smith, NT X0E 0P0