KITCHENER — An early years centre for children and their families with an Indigenous focus will open in Kitchener in the fall.
Anishnabeg Outreach will run the program and the agency is in the midst of finding a new home that will house the centre, said the agency's leader.
"I want to build spirit," said Stephen Jackson, who became executive director of Anishnabeg Outreach eight months ago.
"This will be incredible for the region," he said.
The social service agency received nearly $800,000 in provincial funding toward expanding its work to include the child and family centre.
Jackson said the centre will focus on proactive measures, rather than a reconciliation perspective.
"We are trying to move forward," he said.
Jackson said he wants to create a "hub" that will include a drop-in centre for children and, in the future, a youth drop-in.
Also in the centre will be a toy-lending library and a wellness area where elders will talk about wellness teaching. It will offer talks on nutrition and health.
Jackson said the centre will include an area where the "outdoors will be transported indoors."