Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Bathurst, August 16, 2018 – Nine client families of the N.B. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Centre of Excellence participated in the Whitecrow Village L.I.F.E. sessions FASD camp from July 23 to 29 at the Metepenagiag Lodge in the Red Bank community.
The participating families hailed from the province’s Mi’kmaq and Maliseet communities and from the indigenous population living outside the First Nations. The objective of this camp was to bring together different indigenous communities from the province (family and children) at the same place for a unique experience. The camp fostered a better understanding of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).
The participants learned within an atmosphere that was both culturally appropriate and safe. The camp offered the children and families a unique opportunity to learn, work and play together as a community and to change their vision of FASD. An elder from the Elsipogtog community, Noel Millea, organized traditional ceremonies (sweat lodge, talking circle, drumming, etc.). “Our centre was so pleased to be able to offer this traditional camp for the First Nations and their families on the topic of FASD. This was an historic moment for the Province of New Brunswick and for Vitalité Health Network,” commented Annette Cormier, Manager of the N.B. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Centre of Excellence.
This camp could not have taken place without the financial support provided by the federal Department of Health in accordance with Jordan's principle. The federal government agreed to cover the cost of the camp for the participating children and families as well as the cost of the FASD Centre of Excellence staff.
Picture : Maria DesRoches (second from left), Regional Coordinator NB of the FASD Centre of Excellence, and children attending the camp.