The FNHA launches ‘Connecting to Culture’


A three-part video series about Indigenous harm reduction​​​​​​


The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) partnered with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and filmmaker Asia Youngman (Cree/Métis) to create the Connecting to Culture video series. The videos are teaching tools intended to support discussions in First Nations communities about harm reduction, substance use and stigma. The series uses an Indigenous lens and includes the perspectives of Elders, peers and youth. 

“I try to keep culture at the center of my approach to harm reduction," says Marnie Scow (Heiltsuk / Kwakiutl First Nations), an Indigenous harm reduction consultant. “I believe that low barrier and no barrier access to culture really makes a huge difference." 

Indigenous harm reduction goes beyond keeping people safer while using substances. It includes undoing the harms of colonialism, which places Indigenous people – First Nations, Métis and Inuit – at higher risk of harmful substance use. It's a decolonized, Indigenized approach to harm reduction that re-connects people to culture. 

Each video has a unique theme: Indigenous harm reduction; how to connect to others as part of harm reduction; and harm reduction practices used in communities. 

The videos feature the perspectives of four First Nations harm reduction champions: 

  • Kali-olt Sedgemore ('Namgis First Nation / Kwakwaka'wakw), Peer Navigator and Supervisor, Mobile and Molson Overdose Prevention Site
  • Marnie Scow (Heiltsuk / Kwakiutl First Nations), Indigenous Harm Reduction Consultant
  • Mel Bazil (Gitxsan / Wet'suwet'en Nations), Alcohol and Drug Facilitator
  • Millie Price (Da'naxda'xw / We-Wai-Kai First Nations), FNHA Community Engagement Coordinator 

You can watch the videos in the Connecting to Culture series here: 

​This teaching guide provides thoughtful questions to facilitate and support group discussions about the video content. 

Connecting to Culture is a follow-up to the highly regarded Taking Care of Each Other video series launched in 2018. ​

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