Assembly of First Nations Calls for Better Prevention on International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day

OTTAWA, Sept. 9, 2011 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo today marked International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day.

"Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder affects too many families in our communities," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo.  "Today is an opportunity to remind everyone of the need to make good choices in life, that drinking during pregnancy - even one drink - can cause tragic consequences and irreparable damage to an unborn child. The AFN and our National Youth Council have been active in creating greater awareness of FASD prevention as well as improving awareness of treatment, care facilities and outlets for First Nation citizens and communities. FASD has far-reaching consequences for all of our work, including child welfare, education, justice and overall health and well-being."

The AFN National Youth Council has developed a five year plan on FASD. The plan calls for an information campaign and effective distribution of information to all First Nations youth around Canada using traditional and new media. The objective is better understanding of the disorder to decrease the incidence of FASD among all First Nation peoples.

The National Chief stated: "First Nations are already the most vulnerable in this country. FASD carries health and social costs that our communities simply cannot support. We need to work together to provide more supports for everyone affected by FASD with an overall goal of reducing and ultimately eliminating this tragic disorder."

International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day is recognized annually on September 9. The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.

SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS

For further information:

Don Kelly, Assembly of First Nations A/Communications Director
613-241-6789 ext. 334 or cell: 613-292-2787 or email dkelly@afn.ca

Alain Garon, Assembly of First Nations Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382 or cell: 613-2920857 or email agaron@afn.ca

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