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September 9, 2009
For Immediate Release
Cultivating and empowering relationships that connect us to our cultural strengths and identity within holistic and healthy communities
National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation Vision
Muskoday, Saskatchewan, September 9, 2009The National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation (NNAPF) joins First Nations and Inuit communities in celebrating Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day (FASDAY). NNAPF takes this opportunity to congratulate Addictions and FASD Workers for their significant achievements in raising awareness of FASD in their communities and in making great strides in culturally relevant and population specific research, prevention and promising practices.
The first International FASDay was observed on September 9, 1999. Founded by parents of children with fetal alcohol syndrome, the movement aims to raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and the dangers of drinking during pregnancy.
On September 9, 2009, at 9:09 a.m. FAS Day will be kicked-off with a minute of reflection dubbed a “Pregnant Pause” which will occur on the ninth minute of the ninth hour of the ninth day of the ninth month: a reminder to all that during the nine months of pregnancy, the unborn child needs its mother to protect him or her against the dangers of alcohol.
The prevalence of FASD in First Nation communities is not well-documented or researched. However, there are a few areas in Canada where isolated studies have been conducted to identify the incidences. The national average for FAS is 2-3 in every 1000 live births. Research conducted in Aboriginal communities in Northwester Canada estimate the rate of FAS to be 46 per 1000 First Nation children in the Yukon and 25 per 1000 in British Columbia. Another study in an isolated community in British Columbia documented a rate of 190 cases of FAS or partial FAS per 1000 First Nation children. This community has the highest document rate to date. In North-Eastern Manitoba, an additional study conducted by the Union of Ontario Indians, Facts and Myths – Aboriginal Peoples and FASD, documents FAS rates to be between 7.2 and 14.8 per 1000 First Nation children
These studies indicate that the incidence of FAS/FAE in some First Nations and Inuit communities is much higher than the national average. Moreover, FAS/FAE exists in the context of the history of colonization, devaluation, and loss of culture endured by First Nations and Inui Peoples.
Strategies and awareness of ways to address FAS/FAE issues are emerging via avenues of prevention, identification, and intervention efforts. With support and intervention, FAS/FAE affected individuals can lead productive lives. Most importantly, people are beginning to realize that FAS/FAE are community issues that need to be addressed on an individual, family, and community level, utilizing partnerships at the regional and national level.
This year’s FASDay celebrates the 10th anniversary of this international day and the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation will join many First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities, as well as numerous communities around the World in observing their own version of the Pregnant Pause.
FASDay will be celebrated by First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities all over Canada with a variety of activities which will bring people together to raise awareness about fetal alcohol syndrome.
As the national voice advocating for Inuit and First Nations culturally-based addictions services, the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation supports and commends the tireless efforts that Addictions Workers contribute to their communities.
For more information about the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation (NNAPF), please contact
Communications Manager, NNAPF
Tel: 1 250 247 8693
Fax: (866) 864-5222
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