Children First Centre celebrates five years in operation

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Inuvik’s Children First Centre (CFC) celebrated its 5th anniversary in operation with the community Nov. 20.

The festivities included facility tours, snacks and a short play about how CFC was created.

Ivan Raska acted in the play as one of the builders of Children First Centre.
Samantha McKay/NNSL photo

In a previous interview with the Inuvik Drum, CFC executive director Patricia Davison told the story of how the centre came to be.

Despite only being in operation for five years, CFS has been in the works since 1999 at a community meeting, where Davison said the issue of child care and family support was highlighted.

“At the time, child care was moving from one government building that was about to be torn down, to another government building,” she said. “CFS is very much a grassroots project … the community started fundraising, and the society was formed in 2005. It wasn’t a quick thing.”

In 2005, fundraising efforts in the community gained momentum, and the society gained support from the Gwich’in Tribal Council, the Metis society, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Northwind Industries and the Town of Inuvik.

“If it hadn’t been for the hard work of the community, this place would have never come to be,” she said.

Kendra Bulldog read out the United Nations Convention Rights of the Child in child-friendly language following the play.
Samantha McKay/NNSL photo

Children’s artwork was also on display throughout the centre for the event.

Following the play, Kendra Bulldog read out the United Nations Convention Rights of the Child in child-friendly language following the play, because the celebration fell on National Child Day.

According to the Government of Canada website, National Child Day has been celebrated annually on Nov. 20 since 1993 in an effort to commemorate the adoption of two children’s rights documents by the United Nations.

“Celebrating National Child Day is about celebrating children as active participants in their own lives and in communities, as active citizens who can and should meaningfully contribute to decision making,” according to the website.