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Terms of Reference for the National Indigenous HIPPY Advisory Committee

Indigenous HIPPY recognizes the need to consider valuable insights and recommendations from key community players, such as Indigenous community leaders, early childhood educations, and elders.  These individuals constitute the foundation of the National Indigenous HIPPY Advisory Committee, which is used to guide and inform the organization’s decisions regarding the development and delivery of the program.


The purpose of this document is to articulate the mandate, membership and operation of the National Indigenous HIPPY Advisory Committee for the implementation of the Indigenous HIPPY Strategic Plan.


Concerted effort must be directed toward increasing and improving education outcomes and decreasing high school drop-out rates for Indigenous children. Investing in increased education for children at a younger age, developing parenting skills, encouraging family success and reunifying families by arming mothers with skills and language that will assist the family in navigating the education system are vital components of this.

The National Indigenous HIPPY Advisory Committee will develop a work plan, identify activities to address each recommendation and will approve clear timeframes to guide the completion of each task. It is recognized that a national Indigenous HIPPY framework is needed that includes fundamental principles for supporting First Nations, Urban First Nations, Inuit and Métis Communities that:

  • May benefit from an awareness of Indigenous HIPPY.

  • Have an interest in learning about the benefits of Indigenous HIPPY.

  • Desire implementation but lack capacity or adequate resources towards implementation.

Guiding Principles Values

  • Respect for Indigenous ways of knowing

  • Indigenous knowledge and learning as a foundation of our work

  • Trust to foster life-long learning as a foundation of our work

  • Peaceful listening to support healthy dialogue and decision-making

  • Integrity of the Indigenous process and decision-making

  • Operation as a community-driven organization

  • Cooperation through collaborative sharing, responsibility and partnering

  • Sustainability by responsible planning for future generations

The Mandate

The National Indigenous HIPPY Advisory Committee will facilitate the involvement of the AFN, CAP, MNC, NACFS who may enable the development of a work plan to carry out the implementation process along with the resources required to support activities as identified. All parties will make every effort to ensure that their representatives remain consistent throughout this process.


The National Indigenous HIPPY Advisory Committee will be composed of the following members:

  • Two national co-chairs (Indigenous HIPPY Director and one chosen by the Committee)

  • Committee Representatives:

    • Four delegates representing First Nations, urban First Nations, Inuit and Metis

    • One elder

    • One HIPPY Site representative

    • Two industry representatives

    • An ECE Educator

    • HIPPY Board members

Term of Appointment

The term of the Advisory member will be at the pleasure of the member organization they represent. When a member organization wishes to change their representative, it is the member’s responsibility to advise the Indigenous HIPPY chair of their intention.


Six members of the Advisory Committee shall constitute a quorum. The Advisory Committee may meet without a quorum present but shall not adopt recommendations or vote without a quorum present in person or by phone.

Responsibilities of the National Indigenous HIPPY Advisory Committee

The National Indigenous HIPPY Advisory Committee will be responsible for:

  1. Meeting every three months either by telephone/web conference or in-person meeting.

  2. Providing approval of a work plan for the work of the committee.

  3. Providing strategic direction and making recommendations towards implementation of the Workplan.

  4. Overseeing the processes for decision-making.

  5. Identity the structure and the terms of reference of sub-groups if any are required.

  6. Direct the design and support carrying out the consultation processes with First Nations Organizations regions, headquarters groups, and provincial/territorial officials as required.

  7. Will ensure there is sharing of information nationally with Indigenous communities and organizations.

  8. Will support the communication to Provincial Territorial Organizations (PTO’s) of the Work plan.

  9. Facilitate information-sharing opportunities, as they are required.

  10. If required, consultants will be made available to assist the National Indigenous HIPPY Advisory Committee to carry out some of the implementation activities and/or consultation.

There will be an alternative dispute-resolution process should an impasse result in the recommendations going forward to the National Implementation Advisory Committee as the recommendations are instituted.


Qualifications include the skills, knowledge and experience that committee members need to contribute effectively to the accomplishment of the committee’s objectives. For this committee the qualifications are as follows:

  1. Knowledge of, or interest in Indigenous Early Childhood Education programs and services.

  2. Should include representatives supported by the province, territory, organization or Indigenous nation (or HIPPY Board).

  3. Be an independent representative to the Committee.

National Indigenous HIPPY Advisory Committee Members

Tibetha Kemble

Chair of Indigenous HIPPY National Advisory Committee; Director of Indigenous Health, Division of Community Engagement for Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta

Elisabeth Chatillon

Board member of Mothers Matter Centre; former Assistant Deputy Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Dawn Lavell-Harvard

Former President and current Vice Chair of National Women’s Association of Canada; Director of First Peoples House of Learning at Trent University

Judith Moses

Former board member of HIPPY Canada; President and CEO of Judith Moses Consulting

Angela M. Contreras

Mothers Matter Centre; Senior Policy Advisor to Indigenous HIPPY

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