Host an Event or Ceremony in your Community on International Overdose Awareness Day



​In 2016, BC declared a public health emergency in response to the opioid crisis, or what is now being referred to as the toxic drug supply crisis. A tainted and unpredictable drug supply is flooding the illicit drug market in BC and has worsened considerably in the past two years.

An unprecedented number of toxic drug events and deaths are taking people's lives, especially First Nations people. People from all walks of life are dying – our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children and friends. And every day we are losing more people.

August 31, 2022 is International Overdose Awareness Day. International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is the world's largest annual campaign to end overdose. It is a day to remember without stigma those who have died and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind. It is a time to remember and a time to act.

Get a $2,000 Grant to Host an Event

The FNHA is offering community-based grants of $2,000 for First Nation communities and health and social, non-profit organizations that provide wellness and harm reduction services to Indigenous people and correctional facilities located in BC to hold an event, gathering or ceremony on or around August 31, 2022. These grants are intended to hold up the good work needed to honour lives lost, encourage conversations, reduce stigma, and share stories.

Some Ideas for Events or Activities

Grants are intended to support an event, gathering or ceremony that reflects the unique needs of your community or group as it relates to the toxic drug supply. Some ideas for the day could include, but are not limited to:

  • Grief and loss supports or circles
  • Education sessions or speakers
  • Community meal with guest speakers
  • Ceremony
  • A commemorative space or design (e.g., mural, carving, plaque, sculpture, a garden space)
  • Community event where everyone is welcomed together in a safe space
  • How to use naloxone
  • Cultural gathering to share teachings
  • Create and share medicine bundles
  • Candle light vigil
  • Collage of videos and pictures of those who have died
  • Designate a space for a memorial
  • Harm reduction conversations

How to Apply

​The deadline to submit your application is Friday August 12, 2022. There are two ways to submit an application:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who can apply for the IOAD grants?

The funding applications for an IOAD Grant must be received from: (1) a First Nations Community/Band/Village Council. (2) An organization or agency that services Indigenous people and is a registered society, or (3) a correctional institution. 

2. Can an Individual apply for a grant?

No. The funds cannot be distributed to an individual. The FNHA encourages people with an idea or concept to connect with a group that meets the criteria described in question one.

For example: if you are a local peer or drug user group who wants to support an Indigenous-led event to honour those who have passed away from toxic drugs, this may be an opportunity to work with a local First Nations community or Indigenous health service provider. 

3. When can the event or initiative take place?

The FNHA recommends the event or initiative take place on August 31 in honour of International Overdose Awareness Day. However, the event or initiative can take place anytime between August 20 to September 30​, 2022.

If there are goals outside this timeframe, please contact  

4. Can I use the funds for an honorarium for an Elder or Person with Lived and Living Experience (PWLLE)?

Yes. The funds can be used to provide an honorarium to an Elder or PWLLE for their services. Funds may not be used for the following: (1) the purchase of alcohol, (2) prize money, or (3) illegal purchases. The grant funds may be used for other forms of prizes, including gift cards. 

5. Who can I contact for more help or to answer other questions?

Team members are available during regular business hours by email. If you have any questions, please email


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