On November 17, 2010, the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) and Tungasuvvingat Inuit ( www.tungasuvvingatinuit.ca) was formally renewed for another three years. The agreement signifies the long-standing partnership that successfully unites the strengths of both organizations and bridges the gap between Indigenous knowledge and evidence-based research and policy in the substance abuse field.
It is widely recognized that substance abuse and addictions have a negative impact on the social, health and economic well-being of Canadians—particularly First Nations and Inuit families and communities. It is also recognized that effective partnerships between non-governmental organizations can promote the development of leading-edge research, policies and programs that reduce the harms associated with alcohol and other drugs.
CCSA and TI, through its Inuit-based addiction treatment program, the Mamisarvik Healing Centre, pledge to work together in a spirit of cooperation, learning and support to share information (which may include personnel, workshops, conferences, seminars, meetings and the production of documents) pertaining to addictions and substance abuse and to implement practical means to enhance the development of collaborative efforts between the two organizations.
Highlights of Activities to Date
- In partnership, both organizations hosted a celebration at the Vanier Community Centre in Ottawa to recognize the completion of Meeka Arnakaq’s four-part series of wellness resources. This celebration was an opportunity for community to come together and share in the coordinated effort to reduce the harms associated with alcohol and substance abuse through the development of culturally relevant resources.
- CCSA and TI are co-champions of the Meeka Project and have promoted inter-sectoral partnerships and practical means to enhance its development.
- The Mamisarvik Healing Centre and Meeka Arnakaq, the Inuit Elder at the centre of the Meeka Project, delivered an information session to CCSA staff on traditional Inuit knowledge and healing practices related to substance abuse issues.
- The 2007 National Summer Institute, held in P.E.I. and co-hosted by CCSA and Correctional Services Canada, devoted a session to traditional Inuit knowledge and its impacts on decreasing substance abuse issues in Inuit regions across Canada.
- The 2007 Issues of Substance Conference, hosted by CCSA, included a session with Mamisarvik Healing Centre staff and Meeka Arnakaq to shed light on traditional Inuit knowledge and its application in Inuit addictions treatment programming at the Mamisarvik Healing Centre.