OTTAWA, Nov. 8, 2011 /CNW/ - The National Native Addictions Partnership
Foundation (NNAPF) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), in
partnership with Health Canada, today announced the release of a
national framework addressing substance use issues among First Nation
people in Canada during the AFN National Health Forum in Ottawa, ON.
Honouring Our Strengths: A Renewed Framework to Address Substance Use
Issues Among First Nations People in Canada outlines a continuum of care in support of strengthened community,
regional and national responses to substance use challenges. The
framework was developed through extensive consultation and
collaborative work with partners, including Health Canada.
"The vision of this framework is one for today and into the future, to
address substance abuse among First Nation People in Canada," said
Muskoday First Nation Chief Austin Bear, President of the National
Native Addictions Partnership Foundation. "The framework is intended
to guide the design, coordination, and delivery of services at all
levels, providing guidance on approaches to community development that
prioritizes mental health and well-being and relies upon community and
"I am pleased that our organizations have worked closely together to
produce a framework that will assist First Nations communities to
strengthen mental health and addictions services throughout Canada,"
said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. "These are
important issues that will benefit from the collaborative effort
represented by this framework."
Honouring Our Strengths is the result of a four-year comprehensive, community-driven review of
the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) and
substance use-related services and supports for First Nations. It
describes the range of services, supports and partners needed to
provide a continuum of care to individuals, families, and communities.
It identifies six elements of care to better ensure access to a range
of effective and culturally relevant care options for those responding
to substance use issues or in any stage of the healing journey.
"The 'Honouring Our Strengths' framework is just one example of an
innovative and collaborative approach to addressing challenges based on
community needs and cultural strengths at the community level," said
AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. "While First Nations across Canada
continue to advocate to address inequities in health care and health
service delivery to First Nations, we must continue to drive change at
the community level and increase the rate and pace of change to close
the health gap between our people and other Canadians."
The approach for Honouring Our Strengths focussed on shared ownership of the document's design, collaboration
with partners from the beginning of the process, and bringing forward
the voices of community at every stage of the framework's development.
In creating Honouring Our Strengths, partners engaged over two thousand community members, treatment centre
workers, community-based addiction workers, health administrators,
First Nations leadership, Elders, provincial service providers,
researchers, and policy makers.
Honouring Our Strengths will be a resource for NNADAP treatment centre workers, First Nations
communities, addictions experts, health directors, and policy makers in
the areas of First Nations substance abuse and addictions. Both the
full version of the framework and a 14-page summary report are
available at www.nnadaprenewal.ca.
Implementation of Honouring Our Strengths is already underway at community, regional, and national levels with
the NNADAP Renewal Leadership Team guiding the process. Four main
priority areas for implementation are: enhanced
coordination/integration at all levels; strengthening the system of
care; improving programming; and stronger measurement, oversight, and
The Leadership Team, with support from AFN, NNAPF, and Health Canada, is
encouraged by the collaborative approach to a strengthened
systems-based approach to care, and moving forward with renewal.
NNAPF is the national voice advocating for Inuit and First Nations
culturally-based addictions services. NNAPF works to cultivate and
empower relationships that connect cultural strengths and identity
within holistic and healthy communities and to further the capacity of
First Nations and Inuit to address addictions and related issues.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nation citizens in Canada.
The AFN National Health Forum taking place at the Ottawa Convention
Centre November 7-9, 2011 is the first of its kind in over 10 years,
gathering nearly 1000 First Nation health directors, health technicians
and health experts from across Canada. Under the theme "Taking Action
to Move Forward", the three-day forum will showcase examples of First
Nations driving change and engaging partnerships, while exploring
opportunities to advance community-based plans for sustainable health
For more information on renewal efforts, please visit: www.nnadaprenewal.ca or contact the national renewal partners directly by e-mail at: email@example.com.
SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
For further information:
National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation
Mobile: 204.894.NAPF (6273)
Communications Officer, Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789. ext 401