UOI OFFICES (NIPISSING FN), ON, Nov. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Anishinabek
leaders can contribute to preventing drug abuse by helping youth to see
future opportunities available to them.
"We have a large youth population who have incredible opportunities
ahead of them in education, the work force and beyond," says Grand
Council Chief Patrick Madahbee on the launch of National Addictions
Awareness Week. This year's theme is "'Youth drug use prevention'".
"As leaders, it is imperative that we provide them with all the support
and tools we can to ensure they make healthy choices and set themselves
up for the greatest success."
The current addiction week format is promoted by the Canadian Center on
Substance Abuse, but the concept actually originated at Nechi Institute
in Alberta. Internationally recognized as an Indigenous training,
research, and health promotion centre, Nechi Institute addresses issues
such as drugs, alcohol and gambling addictions, family violence, and
prescription drug abuse.
Northern Superior Regional Grand Chief Peter Collins says, "National
Addiction Awareness Week is a positive campaign for helping and guiding
our youth in a positive direction as well as making youth aware of the
harm drugs can have on their lives."
Substance abuse is by no means a First Nations-specific issue, as
virtually every community across Canada is faced with increasing
challenges in the health and social fields due to dramatic increases of
incidents in recent years. One initiative that First Nations have
relied on to lead with the professional assistance for those with
addictions issues is the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program
Lake Huron Regional Chief Isadore Day says that First Nations
acknowledge the many years of service from a long line of NNADAP
workers who helped carry the painful work of dealing with addictions in
our First Nations since the 1970s.
"We owe it to them to continue advancing our efforts to help our youth
in this generation deal with new realities in the changing face of
addiction," says Regional Chief Day. "We must ask ourselves - what can
I do to help those who suffer from this affliction? We will only be
amazed at the potential of our citizens and their contributions when we
can effectively deal with addiction head-on in our community."
Grand Council Chief Madahbee praised the efforts of community health
"We applaud the work of our community-based programs, health
professionals and leaders for all of their efforts to create drug-free
and prosperous communities for our citizens," says Madahbee. "During
this National Addictions Awareness Week, we encourage everyone to take
some time to educate themselves."
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its
secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member
communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people.
The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in
Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires,
which existed long before European contact.
SOURCE: Anishinabek Nation
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