Brightening Our Home Fires: An FASD Prevention and Women’s Health Project in Canada’s Northwest Territories

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Brightening Our Home Fires was an FASD prevention and women’s health research project that ran for two years (2010- 2012) in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The purpose of the project was to explore individual and community awareness and understanding of concerns that might lead to the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy and births of children with FASD.

This project worked primarily with Dene and Inuit women, and used Photovoice, a participatory visual methodology (learn more here), to explore health and healing in four different communities: Yellowknife, Behchokö, Ulukhaktok, and Lutsel K’e. You can check out the research summary here.

Members of the research team, Dorothy E Badry, Arlene Hache, Amy Salmon, and Aileen Wight Felske, discussed the research project at the 5th International Conference on FASD held in February 2013 and the slides from the presentation can be viewed here.

Dorothy Badry, Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary, also spoke about the project at an evening session on FASD prevention and the YouTube video clip can be viewed here. She comments:

“The women involved in this project lived in urban, remote, and island-based communities where supports and treatment are often not available or offered at a distance…. Health for women in the North is impacted by distance, lack of resources, harsh climate and the challenges of living in remote communities. Health is the precursor, the underlying foundation, to FASD prevention. Healthy living means social, emotional, and physical connectedness to people, their culture, and the land.”

If you’re interested in learning more about culturally specific FASD prevention, you might want to check out the latest webinar from the Alberta FASD Learning series. The webinar, “Through a Métis Lens: Culturally Specific FASD Prevention and Intervention” held on February 20, 2013  has now been posted on the FASD Cross-Committee website here.

For more on FASD prevention in Canada’s North, see earlier posts:

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