Pictured L to R: Colleen Erickson, FNHA Board Chair
Julie Morrison, FNHA Northern Region Vice-President of Regional Operations
James Harry, All Nations Outreach
Wade Grant, First Nations Health Council Chair
Richard Jock, FNHA CEO
Lheidli T'enneh Territory – FNHA Northern Region is funding one outreach worker position for a two (2) year period to support members from Northern BC First Nations communities struggling with addiction in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
The new position will increase the capacity of the All Nations Outreach Society that currently supports Indigenous people living away from home.
“In addressing the toxic drug emergency for BC First Nations people living away from home in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside, the FNHA is embedding culture and cultural safety at every stage. By adding outreach workers to support Northern community members living in the Downtown Eastside, FNHA is creating a pathway back to community, back to culture, back to treatment and help," said FNHA CEO Richard Jock.
“Many of our people are suffering the pain of addiction a long way from home and loved ones, and this is a way we can reach out and help them with love and encouragement and, if necessary, transportation back to treatment or to their own community," said Julie Morrison, FNHA Northern Region Vice‐ President of Operations.
While First Nations people make up 14.8 percent of the Northern Region population, they constitute 54.5 percent of toxic drug poisoning events.
This is part of a comprehensive series of measures to support the members of our Northern First Nations communities wherever they may be living, who are suffering from addictions during the current toxic drug crisis.
Other initiatives aimed at preserving life include harm reduction, naloxone training, improved access to treatment as well as traditional wellness supports and land‐based healing programs.