Early Child Development Collection

Resources relevant to the health of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

The Early Child Development Collection is a selective repository of resources pertaining to the health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children and their families. Situated in the context of family and community, Indigenous children hold a special place in their communities and are often viewed as a “gift from the Creator”. Children are the continuity of cultures. This collection recognizes the important role parents and families play as the “first teachers” of children as well as the role of children’s collective culture in their optimal growth and development.

The early years is a critical time of brain development. High quality early childhood programs can support children and families in ensuring the very best opportunities for optimal brain development to occur. Early childhood programs can also address the disproportionate burdens of ill health experienced by Indigenous children and their families. Early learning and childcare are particularly well-suited to addressing socio-economic and health inequities by supporting families. These interventions often incorporate Indigenous values and principles, including connections to family, community and the environment, collective history, as well as the revitalization of Indigenous languages and culture.

This collection includes a broad range of literature drawn from national and international sources, and focuses on maternal health and birth outcomes, early learning and child care, child welfare, the health status of young children, protective factors and resiliency, as well as the impacts of trauma on families and communities.

The collection’s focus is primarily on issues and topics that would be of interest to practitioners working in Indigenous communities, public health researchers and policy makers. The resources in this collection can be searched by health topic, subject/keyword, publication type and year published. While all resources in the collection were freely accessible on the Internet when they were included, the NCCIH assumes no responsibility for any links that are broken or changes in free access.


The material included in this collection are resources that are, for the most part, external to the NCCIH. They are intended for general information only on an ‘AS IS’ and “as available” basis. Please refer to the NCCIH’s disclaimer on its Privacy Policy.