FNAAP Terms of Reference

Terms of reference are used to describe the purpose and structure of a committee. Specific to the First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel, the terms of reference outline the membership, partners and co-chairs, including their roles and responsibilities in the process. As well, they establish the mandate of the group, which is grounded in a series of key values that will guide the First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel’s activities.


NNADAP was established in 1982 by the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) of Health Canada. Together with the Youth Solvent Abuse Program (YSAP) established in 1996, there is a combined budget of $70M annually. There are 58 treatment centres, 49 adult focussed treatment centres and 9 youth treatment focussed centres, over 550 community-based prevention programs, nearly 1,100 treatment counsellors and community-based prevention workers, and 8 Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention pilot projects.
There is much strength and many challenges confronting NNADAP. Many First Nations and Inuit People have found their sobriety, or some level of a healthy lifestyle, through this national program. However, from an overall systems perspective, challenges appear to be throughout. The NNADAP Renewal process, of which the First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel is a key component, represents a timely and important opportunity for First Nations and their partners to consider how best to renew NNADAP over the next five to ten years.


Guided by the First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel, NNADAP will be renewed to meet the current and future needs of First Nations and Inuit communities to effectively serve clients, and reduce and prevent addictions.


Integrity: the outcomes of the First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel will be morally sound within the context of an Indigenous World View
Respect: value for traditional Indigenous knowledge and western knowledge shall be respected as relevant and appropriate evidence for the renewal of NNADAP
Collaboration: consultation and communication with the NNADAP field must be consistent and balanced with the work of the First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel so as to facilitate collaborative implementation of the renewed NNADAP system.
Choice: the work of the First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel shall nurture choice towards a renewed NNADAP system that honours inherent strengths while identifying the best available evidence and informed practices.


To contribute to the development of a renewed national NNADAP framework to ensure the provision of culturally-appropriate and effective addictions services to First Nations in the coming years. To achieve this, the Panel will:
  • Ensure members are aware of the history of NNADAP, its strengths, challenges, and processes.
  • Review regional needs assessments and provide feedback to facilitate quality analyses.
  • Develop recommendations that build on promising practices in First Nations and other indigenous and mainstream addictions intervention and prevention systems, with the long-term goal of preventing and reducing addictions.
  • Document high-level recommendations by Fall 2010.
  • Ensure the renewed NNADAP aligns with the principles of the Mental Wellness Advisory Committee Strategic Action Plan (draft) (PDF).

The First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel is a time-limited body, whose mandate is scheduled to be complete by Fall 2010.


Partners of this process are:

  • The Assembly of First Nations
  • The National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation
  • First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada

Partners are responsible to represent their region/stakeholders and maintain regular communication with their Addictions Regional Committees, AFN’s regional health technicians, and where there is such a position, AFN’s regional mental wellness policy analyst.


The First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel is comprised of:

  • Members of the AFN’s Public Health Committee
  • Seven representatives from the addictions research or service delivery community
  • A First Nations Elder will be present to oversee all meetings and to provide wisdom, insight and spiritual guidance.

Roles and Responsibilities


The First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel will be led in partnership by:

  • Carol Hopkins, National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation, Executive Director
  • Winona Polson-Lahache, Assembly of First Nations, Health and Social Secretariat

Members will provide advice based on their experience and expertise. Members are asked to maintain continuity in representation to the greatest extent possible, and are also asked to make every effort to attend scheduled meetings. Members that miss more than two meetings in a row will be replaced by an appropriate representative from the addictions community.


1. Secretariat

Secretariat support will be provided (shared) by FNIHB, the AFN and NNAPF. It will include: coordination of meetings, compilation of background materials, drafting of agendas, drafting of meeting summaries, and follow up on action items. Committee members are responsible for providing the Secretariat with background materials in support of specific agenda items on a timely basis in advance of the meeting. FNIHB is responsible for briefing the Mental Wellness Advisory Committee.

2. Meetings

The frequency of meetings will be determined by the Panel. If possible, draft agendas and background documents will be circulated electronically to members three (3) weeks in advance of meetings. Excluding Government of Canada employees, FNIHB is responsible for members’ costs related to travel/accommodation for the First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel meetings, following current Treasury Board Travel Directive (http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pubs_pol/hrpubs/tbm_113/menu-travel-voyage_e.asp) (URL).

Meeting summaries will be circulated by NNAPF, FNIHB and AFN through their relevant networks.

3. Decision Making

The First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel will endeavour to develop recommendations by consensus after reviewing and discussing information presented at the meetings or by other means of communication. In a situation of an unresolved conflict, the leaders/chairs commit to finding resolution that meets the interests of First Nations communities.

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