The National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) strives to tackle the difficult and ever changing issues of addictions facing our First Nations communities. For First Nations people, addictions are dealt with in the context of difficult social issues and intergenerational problems faced as First Nations people embark on their healing journey. Despite the heightened risk of addictions among First Nations, many community NNADAP programs are staffed by only one or two workers and face funding shortfalls in the areas of resources, supplies and training. These dedicated workers find themselves stretched thinly across the community, burdened by large case loads, lacking resources, and lacking opportunities for training. The invaluable work performed by NNADAP workers everywhere ought to be commended for without them, many of our families would face the ever changing issues of addictions alone.
It was with these issues in mind that the Ontario Regional Addictions Partnership Committee (ORAPC) has organized the Ontario Region NNADAP Conference for the past seven years. Funded by the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) of Health Canada, the annual NNADAP Conference provides workers with training certified for Continuing Education Hours as they work toward and maintain Addictions Counsellor Certification across Ontario NNADAP. Training topics are chosen based on feedback and findings of the previous NNADAP Conference Evaluations, certification requirements, the 2007 Training Needs Assessment and the ORAPC Training and Work Plans. The ORAPC uses this opportunity to, not only provide specific substance abuse/use training, but also, to provide a forum for Ontario’s NNADAP Community-Based and Treatment Centre Workers to share best practices in First Nations addictions issues, network with each other and unite in the common goal of improving the quality of life among First Nations’ communities.
The following pages report on the events and outcomes of the 2011 NNADAP Conference held October 17th to 20th, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario. The Final Report will be used to assist the ORAPC in providing coordinated, accredited training and networking opportunities to Ontario’s NNADAP Workers and to report on funding received to date.