NNADAP was established as an alternative to mainstream addiction services based upon the recognition that culturally-relevant programming, grounded in an Aboriginal Worldview, is essential for many Aboriginal clients to heal from substance use and other related problems. The 1998 NNADAP Review (PDF) final report identified that “Most centers use the cultural model but do not identify it as such due to the reality that cultural programming is seen as a way of life, not a model.” The Culture and Tradition paper explores the role of Indigenous Culture within NNADAP from a structural, process and outcome perspective. The paper outlines some of the key concepts that set the foundation for establishing the cultural evidence base for cultural practice specific to addictions services both within the community and within residential treatment. It also identifies key guiding principles for renewal of NNADAP services, including respect for both traditional Indigenous knowledge and western knowledge as relevant and appropriate evidence in renewal activities. Through a comprehensive literature review and an analysis of strengths and gaps, as well as a series of key informant interviews and focus groups, the Culture and Tradition Research Paper was commissioned to explore how culturally-based and traditional practices are used within NNADAP service and highlight how and why these approaches help individuals, families and communities encountering substance use-related problems. It also identifies examples of culturally-based programming and provide specific recommendations for how culturally-relevant approaches can be better recognized within the program and promoted to mainstream addiction services as a best/promising practice.
Authors: Carol Hopkins and Jim Dumont
Completion: Summer 2009
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