Process Overview

As a key activity under the National Anti-Drug Strategy, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the National Native Addiction Partnership Foundation (NNAPF), and the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) of Health Canada oversaw a comprehensive, community-driven review of substance use-related services and supports for First Nations people in Canada. This review was guided by the First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel, and was informed by the First Nations and Inuit Mental Wellness Advisory Committee’s Strategic Action Plan for First Nations and Inuit Mental Wellness, which was developed in 2007 to provide national strategic advice on efforts related to First Nations and Inuit wellness. From 2007 to 2011, the review included a wide range of knowledge-gathering and consensus-building activities, including regional addiction needs assessments; a national forum; a series of research papers; regional workshops; and an Indigenous knowledge forum. These activities directly engaged community members, treatment centre workers, community- based addiction workers, health administrators, First Nations leadership, provincial service providers, researchers, and policy makers to develop and shape a renewed approach for community, regional, and national responses to substance use issues among First Nations people in Canada. Honouring Our Strengths: A Renewed Framework to Address Substance Use Issues Among First Nations People in Canada was developed based on this process of engagement and feedback.

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