Women’s health and FASD prevention in a special issue of the International Journal of Circumpolar Health

IJCH cover

The International Journal of Circumpolar Health is a multidisciplinary journal that specializes in Arctic and Antarctic health issues, with a particular interest in the health of indigenous peoples.

The journal has just published a special supplement (Supplement 1, 2013) which includes 100 full length papers, 90 extended abstracts and nearly 100 short abstracts from the 15th International Congress on Circumpolar Health held in August 2012.

This issue has a number of full length and brief papers related to FASD, women’s addictions, and indigenous health. Here are some of the papers you might be interested in taking a look at:

Perceptions of needs regarding FASD across the province of British Columbia, Canada – Anne George, Cindy Hardy, Erica Clark (p. 91)

This study describes the perceived needs for services for people affected by FASD in rural and urban British Columbia.

Prenatal alcohol exposure among Alaska Native/American Indian infants – Burhan A. Khan, Renee F. Robinson, Julia J. Smith, Denise A. Dillard (p. 147)

A survey which found that rates of prenatal alcohol use are primarily limited to pre-conception and the 1st trimester, with a dramatic decrease in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

An examination of the social determinants of health as factors related to health, healing and prevention of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder in a northern context – the Brightening Our Home Fires Project, Northwest Territories, Canada – Dorothy Badry, Aileen Wight Felske (p. 169)

An exploratory study of the issue of the prevention of FASD from a women’s health perspective in the Northwest Territories of Canada.

Resituating the ethical gaze: government morality and the local worlds of impoverished Indigenous women – Caroline L. Tait (p. 200)

Drawing from a project documenting 100 life histories of Indigenous women with addictions and who have involvement with the child welfare system, as children or adults, this paper explores the influence of government policies and programs in Canada on recovery and healing.

Coordinating foetal alcohol syndrome interventions in Alaska – Kris Broom, Wendy Getchell, Chantelle Hardy, Garrett Hartley and Jessica Olson (p. 241)

A review of current Alaska FAS policies and interventions.

The healing constellation: a framework for understanding and treating trauma in Alaska Native women – Wendy H. Arundale (p. 243)

Connecting theory, research, and treatment approaches, a look at indigenous women’s substance use in relation to mental health, intergenerational trauma and other factors.

Community-driven alcohol policy and foetal alcohol spectrum disorder prevention: implications for Canada’s North? – Nancy Poole, Tasnim Nathoo and Arlene Hache (p. 250)

An exploration of the potentially important role of alcohol policy in northern communities in influencing alcohol use in pregnancy and risk of FASD.

The full publication is freely available for download here.

For more on FASD prevention in northern regions, see earlier posts:

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

fire graduated

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:

FASD Awareness Day 2012: Round-up of Activities across Canada

Here are just a few of the events and activities held across the country on September 9, 2012.

Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland – Breakfast at Nunatsiavut’s Health and Social Development building. Listen to the CBC Radio coverage here.

St. John’s, Newfoundland – Pancake breakfast and ringing of bells  on the steps of St. John’s City Hall. See the news coverage here.

Thunder Bay, Ontario – 4th Annual Mini-Powwow held at Marina Park. See the news coverage here.

Kenora, Ontario – Information booth at Kenora Shoppers Mall. See news coverage here.

Timmins, Ontario – Purple-pancake breakfast at the Timmins Native Friendship Centre, including activities for kids and mocktails. See news coverage here.

Fort Frances, Ontario – Gathering at the Circle of Life Centre in Fort Frances. See more here.

St. Thomas, Ontario – Bells rang. Hear a radio clip here.

Mississauga, Ontario – Peel Public Health (serving the areas of Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga) and other community organizations host an education event with mocktails. See the news coverage here and here.

Kingston, Ontario – Breakfast and networking hosted by the Kingston FASD Action Network. Dr. James Reynolds from Queen’s University presents on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Basic Science Research to Treatment Strategies. See the news coverage here.

Ottawa, Ontario – BBQ, display booths, games, and drumming at Heron Park. See the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Coalition of Ottawa website here.

Portage La Prairie, Manitoba – Free BBQ hosted by the Portage and District FASD Coalition. See the news coverage here and here. The Portage Friendship Centre‘s Insight Mentoring Program held a feast to honor FASD Day and Grandparents Day. See the news coverage here.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Saskatoon held its annual FASD Walk for Awareness and is hosting the Fetal Alcohol Canadian Expertise Research Roundtable and FASDLive Conference this week. The Métis Addictions Council of Saskatchewan Inc. (MACSI), the FASD Support Network of Saskatchewan, and the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute are just a few of the organizations involved this year (see the news coverage here and here). The theme for this year was “FASD: Let’s talk about it. Groups also worked to spread the word through Twitter by using the hashtag #FASD, with a goal of making FASD a trending topic for the day.

Melfort, Saskatchewan – A mocktail event at the Marguerite Riel Centre.

Image via Barrhead Leader Facebook page

Barrhead, Alberta – Community awareness event, proclamation and walk. See the coverage here.

Calgary, Alberta – AltaGas Calgary Fetal Alcohol Network Run/Walk FASD

Edmonton, Alberta – Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network, in partnership with many community agencies, hosted a flashmob at Kingsway Garden Mall. See photos on EFAN’s website here.

Lethbridge, Alberta – Music, speakers, yummy treats, fun and games at Galt Gardens.

Whitecourt, Alberta – Gathering at Friendship Park. Click here for more.

Image via http://www.country95.fm

Vernon, British Columbia – FASD Day at Polson Park. An awareness walk, music from The Shags and Kat and The Valentines, lunch and speakers. See the news coverage here.

Comox Valley, British Columbia – Community Brain Fair at Simms Park, Courtenay. Bounce Mania and other activities for kids and information for parents and care-givers. See the news coverage here and here.

Nanaimo, British Columbia – Cake and an information display. Learn more on the Nanaimo FASD Society website.

Quesnel, British Columbia – FASD Awareness Walk and Pancake Breakfast. Check out the photos on the Quesnel Tillicum Society Facebook page and see clips of Metis jiggers and FASD Awareness Jeopardy on YouTube.

Dawson Creek, British Columbia – City proclamation. Click here for more.

Terrace, British Columbia – Free pancake breakast, sirens and bells at 9:09; family activities, entertainment, FASD info and BBQ at George Little Park. See a schedule of the day’s events here.

Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories – Parade hosted by Dehcho Health and Social Services, the Village of Fort Simpson and the RCMP.

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – “Stop.Check.Be Sure! ” event on Friday which offered free pregnancy tests in women’s public washrooms. Free mocktails for women at the Hot Shots Pub, The Ravens Pub and the Boston Pizza Sports Bar. See the news coverage here.

Hay River, Northwest Territories – Information sheets distributed at the liquor store and restaurants; a short quiz on the TV in the hospital waiting room throughout September; Lunch and Learn presentation.

Inuvik, Northwest Territories – Community baby shower at Ingamo Hall. See the news coverage here.

Check out this awareness video developed by the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services on YouTube.

And, as a finale to this roundup, you may want to read a message from the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, from September 9, 2012 on International FASD Awareness Day.

For previous round-ups, see FASD Awareness Day 2011 and FASD Awareness Day 2010.