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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Project title: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Supporting our Inuit Families and Communities

What is FASD and why should we study it?

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a lifelong disorder that affects the brain and body of people who were exposed to alcohol in the womb. It is important to recognize that FASD is a spectrum, and each individual living with FASD has both strengths and challenges, that will be different from other individuals living with FASD.

Researchers, health workers and the communities agree that the numbers of peoples living with FASD is higher than reported. Still, because of fear, stigma and a lack of FASD knowledge and research, specifically for Inuit, many find FASD a difficult topic to discuss.

Our work

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, has started a 2.5 year project that works to with Inuit communities to bring about awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), improve mother and infant health as well as reduce stigma associated with FASD.

Our hope is that we may achieve these goals through engaging with community members across all four regions of Inuit Nunangat, as well as with Inuit living in urban centres. We are having two kinds of conversations about FASD.
First, we are having conversations with health care workers, frontline providers, people in education and who work for the community, as well as anyone who works in the field of family health and FASD, on the topics of alcohol consumption, maternal and infant health and FASD. Second, we are having conversations with volunteer community members around the same topics.

The information shared will be analyzed and later put into a report. This report will be made public, but the names and positions, the communities they are from, as well as personal experiences of participants will not be made public. Our priority is the safety and privacy of the participants.

With this research, our goal is to create a public awareness campaign. We will be reaching out to the regions and Inuit across the country to determine what kind of campaign they think will be most effective. Our hope is that this research and information brings about awareness and reduces stigma surrounding FASD.

For more information, please check out some of the FASD resources from our partners below:

  1. Piruqatigiit Resource Centre: https://piruqatigiit.ca/
    2. Canada FASD Research Network: https://canfasd.ca/
    3. Saskatchewan Prevention Institute: https://skprevention.ca/

The current list of the FASD Advisory Committee representatives is as follows:

  1. Jukeepa Veevee- Inuk mother of a child living with FASD
    2. Jennifer Noah -Piruqatigiit (Director/CEO)
    3. Kyla Wright – Government of NWT (Maternal-Child Health Promotion Specialist)
    4. Darlene Winter – Government of Nunatsiavut (FASD Officer)
    5. Nancy Poole – Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health (Director)
    6. Geneviève Pellerin- Nunavik Regional Board of Heath and Social Services (Psychosocial affairs and Community Services Coordinator)
    7. Imane Cheriet- Nunavik Regional Board of Heath and Social Services (Clinical lead in health promotion and disease prevention)
    8. Kathy Unsworth- Canada Network for FASD (Managing Director)

 

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