Background

The vision for NNADAP Renewal was outlined in 2007 thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation (NNAPF), and the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada. Partners acknowledged that a fundamental challenge for NNADAP and NYSAP, similar to other jurisdictions, remains to be its ability to co-ordinate a broad range of services and supports, across jurisdictions, which remain responsive to diverse service needs. To achieve this goal, partners outlined several, complementary activities to help identify the most effective blend of traditional and mainstream approaches relative to the needs and priorities put forward by First Nations communities. These activities included:

  1. Needs assessments in seven First Nations and Inuit Health Regions;
  2. Research papers of key knowledge needs within the program; and
  3. A national advisory panel of community, regional and national mental health and addiction experts

Since 2007, the NNADAP Renewal Process built upon the initial process design, and included significant engagement with First Nations communities, service providers, leadership, and representative organizations.

Additional Background

1998 NNADAP General Review

NNADAP has been reviewed several times during its long history. Most recently, the 1998 NNADAP General Review (PDF) generated 37 recommendations. Since 1998, some of these recommendations have been addressed, while others are informing current renewal efforts. Since the review, the urgency and complexity of issues facing communities has increased. Prescription drug abuse has emerged as a major issue in many communities, and the recognition of the unique treatment needs of certain populations (e.g., youth, women, and people with mental health issues), has also become more defined. Likewise, the number of people who specifically identify their trauma and associated substance use issues as being linked to Indian Residential Schools has also increased.

National Anti-Drug Strategy (NADS)

Announced in 2007, the National Anti-Drug Strategy (URL) represents the most significant investment in NNADAP since its creation in the 1980s. Under NADS, the Government of Canada committed $30.5 million over five years, and $9.1 million ongoing, to improve the quality, accessibility, and effectiveness of addiction services for First Nations and Inuit populations. This investment has created the opportunity for NNADAP Renewal.

Mental Wellness Advisory Committee (MWAC)

The NNADAP Renewal Process has been informed by, and is consistent with, the First Nations and Inuit Mental Wellness Advisory Committee’s (MWAC) Strategic Action Plan (Draft) (PDF) and its five priority goals (PDF) to promote First Nations and Inuit wellness. MWAC membership includes representatives from the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, federal/provincial/territorial networks, both non-governmental and Aboriginal mental health and addictions organizations as well as other key national partners, and stakeholders. It was established in 2005 to provide strategic advice to the Community Programs Directorate of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) of Health Canada on issues related to mental wellness, which includes mental health, mental illness, suicide prevention, Indian Residential Schools, and substance abuse/addictions. MWAC was mandated to develop a strategic action plan to improve mental wellness outcomes of First Nations and Inuit.

Inuit Specific Renewal Process

An Inuit-specific Renewal Process for Inuit communities North of 60 is currently being developed by FNIHB in partnership with the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and the National Inuit Committee on Health (NICoH).

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