Northreach Society Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray acknowledges the Treaty 8 territory of these areas. Northreach Society Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray is grateful to the Beaver, Cree, Dene, and Metis peoples for allowing us to work, live and grow on these beautiful lands. Indigenous peoples of this region have existed here for over fifteen thousand years, and we thank the Elders who have gone before us for their care and stewardship of these lands since time immemorial.
Indigenous Harm Reduction & COVID-19 Resource
Harm Reduction – Thunderbird Partnership Foundation
Withdrawal – Thunderbird Partnership Foundation
With All Our Relations Community Group
“All My Relations” is a philosophy or understanding rooted in interconnectedness. This is a central core of Indigenous worldviews and ways of knowing and being. It is a mindset which reflects people who are aware that everything in the universe is connected. The foundation of this philosophy is that everyone and everything has a purpose, is worthy of respect and caring, and has a place in the big picture of life.
We chose the term “With All Our Relations” for our community group with this philosophy in mind, as it inherently aligns with the values of harm reduction. It does this by respecting the lives of every individual, regardless of the choices they make in life. The philosophy and practice of “All My Relations” is by nature respectful of all life and it is useful in teaching people a lot about relating to others and to themselves. When we take the time to be present with someone, we utilize our inner knowing to connect deeply with others. Through listening attentively and respectfully to what others are saying and experiencing, allows us to connect with more than our rational minds. This helps us engage with others in holistic and meaningful ways, thus supporting health and well-being. By taking this thinking further, when we regard others as being genuinely connected to us, we seek to understand the inner essence of others. It is this deep connection that serves as the foundation of relationship with our world, supported by interconnected knowing.
The With All Our Relations Community Group utilizes culture, connection, relationship building, education and awareness as a form of harm reduction. It does this by addressing the real and actual harms of stigma and discrimination experienced by Indigenous people.
In the current COVID-19 pandemic, our “With All Our Relations” group is meeting virtually via Zoom. The meeting link is https://zoom.us/j/933188022
Previous “With all Our Relations” group activities have included making vision boards, pizza and movie nights, and a cultural camp out at Camp Tamarack.
Other Indigenous Opioid Response Program Supports:
- If your agency or community is looking for naloxone training, done through an Indigenous lens, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book a session. With the current pandemic, a Zoom session or an in-person presentation, with the appropriate social distancing, can be done. This can be completed for a family, group, co-workers and other Indigenous organizations.
- If you or someone that you know have been affected by someone a loved one’s opioid misuse and could benefit by supports, please reach out to email@example.com.
Harm Reduction from an Indigenous Perspective
The First Nation’s Health Authority expresses seeing addiction as health issue instead of a moral issue, and recognizes the significance in reducing drug-use stigma. Their website has fact sheets, overdose awareness stories and blogs, and great videos.
The Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN) is an organization by and for Indigenous youth that works across issues of sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice throughout the United States and Canada.
The International Network on Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU) has a series of videos called “Connecting with Care.” One video highlights the successes of a hepatitis C program in the community of Ahtahkakoop, Saskatchewan. Two key parts of this program integral to it’s success are the importance of relationship building and the integration of Indigenous culture within the delivery of care.
The Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development recognizes the importance of including an Indigenous perspective within harm reduction. This means more than promoting needle exchange programs, naloxone training and distribution, safer sex, and focusing on the transmission of hepatitis C and HIV. An inclusive Indigenous perspective on harm reduction means also reducing the harms of colonialism. A policy brief discussing this can be found here. There are other resources here as well.
If you have an interesting website to share, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.