Projects on early language facilitation in early childhood programs and culturally based goals for children's communication skills have contributed to recent efforts to improve the practice of speech and language therapists when working with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children and families. Team members have encouraged the Speech-Language and Audiology Association of Canada (SAC) to bring more attention to the needs of practitioners working in Indigenous contexts at the association’s national conferences and the association’s Journal of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology.
Two studies with national impact include:
Another project area, undertaken by Jessica Ball and Sharla Peltier, involves the creation of guides for parents and early childhood practitioners to promote early language development and identify children's needs for extra supports. Sharla and Jessica have also provided training across the country for early childhood program staff and for clinicians on strategies for facilitating children's language development in ways that draw upon mainstream science of language acquisition as well as on cultural and local resources, knowledge, and forms of interaction.
B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development through the Human Early Learning Partnership: www.earlylearning.ubc.ca