Host an Event or Ceremony on International Overdose Awareness Day


​​​In BC, we have been responding to the overdose crisis for over five years. Tragically, our loved ones continue to die in growing numbers due to toxic drugs. Tainted and unpredictable drugs have been flooding the illicit drug market. People from all walks of life are dying – our sisters, fathers, aunties, uncles, mothers, cousins, brothers and friends. Every day we are losing more people that we love. 

August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day, the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose. It is a day dedicated to remembering without stigma the people who have died, and to acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind. It is a time to remember and a time to act.

Get a $1,000 Grant to Host an Event 

The FNHA is offering community-based grants of up to $1,000 to hold an event, gathering or ceremony on (or around) International Overdose Awareness Day. These grants are intended to hold up and support the good work needed to honour the loved ones we’ve lost, remember their stories, encourage conversations and reduce stigma. 

Who can apply for the grant? All First Nation communities, urban-based health and social organizations that provide wellness services to Indigenous people and correctional facilities located in BC.

Some Ideas for Events or Activities

The $1,000 grant can be used to support an event, gathering or ceremony that relates to the toxic drug crisis and reflects the unique needs of your community or group. 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 
  • commemorative space or public art (e.g., mural, carving, plaque, sculpture, a garden space)
  • community event where everyone is welcomed together in a safe space 
  • training session on how to use Naloxone to save lives
  • cultural gathering to share teachings
  • create and share medicine bundles
  • candlelight vigil
  • collage of videos and pictures of loved ones who have died
  • designate a space for a memorial to remember lost loved ones
  • support harm reduction conversations

How to Apply 

The deadline to submit an application is Thurs. Aug. 26. Funds will be sent as soon as possible. 

There are two options for submitting your grant application: 

  • Email – complete the application form and email it to 
  • Fax – complete the application form and fax it to 604-913-2081. Note: If you are faxing your application, please notify us with a phone call or email.

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. You can expect a response with information about next steps within three business days of submitting your application. 

For any questions regarding the grant application and guidelines, please contact Dustin Johnson ( or 604-812-4986. 

Download the application form​ (Microsoft Word)

Download the appli​cation​ form​ (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who can apply for the International Overdose Awareness Day Grants?

The funding applications for an International Overdose Awareness Day grant must be received from: 

  • a First Nations Community, Band, or Village Council
  • an organization or agency that provides services to Indigenous people and is a registered society
  • 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 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 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 3 in honour of International Overdose Awareness Day. However, the event or initiative can take place any time between August 31 and September 27, 2021. If there are goals outside this timeframe, please contact Dustion Johnson (  

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. 

5. Is there anything that the funds cannot be used for?

Funds may not be used for: 

  • the purchase of alcohol
  • prize money
  • illegal purchases 

The grant funds may be used for other forms of prizes, including gift cards.


Download a fact sheet with th​is information

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