The National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) recently released a summary report called Honouring Our Strengths: A Renewed Framework to Address Substance Use Issues Among First Nations People in Canada.

NNADAP originated in the mid-1970s as part of a national pilot project to address alcohol and drug abuse in First Nations and Inuit communities. Today, NNADAP provides over 550 prevention programs with over 700 workers and supports a national network of 52 residential treatment centres, with approximately 700 treatment beds.

In January 2010, the Assembly of First Nations, the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation  and the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) of Health Canada co-hosted the NNADAP Renewal National Forum. This forum is part of an ongoing collaborative renewal and revitalization process of  addictions services in First Nations and Inuit communities.  This  14-page framework is one part of the renewal process and describes a strengths-based systems approach to addressing substance use issues.

Guiding principles identified in the framework include:

  • Spirit-centred
  • Connected
  • Resiliency-focused
  • Holistic Supports
  • Community-focused
  • Respectful
  • Balanced
  • Shared Responsibility
  • Culturally Competent
  • Culturally Safe

Many of these guiding principles overlap with and reflect the 10 fundamental components of FASD prevention identified in the paper 10 Fundamental components of FASD prevention from a women’s health determinants perspective developed by our Network Action Team in spring 2010. This document brought together a range of sources—women’s experiences, peer-reviewed research, published articles, as well as expert evidence—to identify key aspects of effective FASD prevention activities.

The full report, Honouring Our Strengths, (i.e., not just the summary) will be available fall 2011. Visit the NNADAP Renewal web site to learn more  (www.nnadaprenewal.ca).