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Indigenous Approaches to FASD Prevention


I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, and Canada FASD Research Network on an initiative responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call-to-Action #33.

Call-to-Action #33 focuses on culturally relevant approaches to preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder:

“We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to recognize as a high priority the need to address and prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and to develop, in collaboration with Aboriginal people, FASD preventive programs that can be delivered in a culturally appropriate manner.”

As one way of supporting discussion and action, these organizations have published a series of five booklets:

  1. Indigenous Mothering
  2. Wellness
  3. Reconciliation and Healing
  4. Community Action
  5. Brief Interventions with Girls and Women

These booklets are intended to be a starting place for individuals, organizations, and communities who are interested in learning how they can be involved in supporting FASD prevention in Indigenous communities in ways that are respectful of history, culturally aligned and supportive of Indigenous self-determination and cultural resurgence.

A few screenshots from inside the booklets below.

You can download the booklets from the websites of the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, and the Canada FASD Research Network.

SisterSpace Overdose Prevention Site in Vancouver, BC

SisterSpace cover

SisterSpace is Canada’s first and only women-only overdose prevention site. This harm reduction program opened in May 2017 in response to the opioid crisis. It is located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and is run in partnership by Atira Women’s Resource Society, Vancouver Coastal Health, BC Housing, BC Women’s Hospital, and the Provincial Health Services Authority.

I had the opportunity to be involved with an evaluation of the program’s early beginnings and to learn about what’s working and what might be improved. The program is a great example of a harm reduction program that considers how women’s needs might differ from men’s and the role of a women-only space in creating a more accessible and safe program.

Learn more about the program in the infographic below and check out Atira’s website for links to the evaluation report and media coverage.

SisterSpace infographic_Sept 2017

Meet “The Love Doctor” on May 9th


I’ll be sharing one of my newest little books The Love Doctor at the next EMMA Talks on May 9th, 2017. I’ll also have copies of Love into Water: Stories and Poems for All Ages for sale.

The next EMMA Talks features Jackie Wong and Astra Taylor and will be held at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre – Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (SFU Woodwards Building, 149 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC).

The evening begins at 7 pm for a pre-talk living room style reception, where there will be free light snacks, a cash bar, books for sale and some interactive art-making facilitated by Tin Can Studio.

Tickets are free. Check out the website for more details.


Read A Little Book, Share A Little Book


Thank you to everyone who attended EMMA Talks on Feb 28th – what a great night!

I was so happy to have the opportunity to share “Blue Feather” with the audience. EMMA Talks is all about sharing ideas and connecting with people and using  words and art to make change in the world – what a great crowd to share this particular book with.

Lots of people read their new little book and shared with me their responses and told me about who they intended to share their little book with next.

Share A Little Book_one page


Be sure to head over to the EMMA Talks website to see videos of the night’s speakers and check out their Instagram  for more photos from the night.


Pick up a copy of “Blue Feather,” a new little book at EMMA Talks, February 28, 2017


Check out the next EMMA Talks on February 28, 2017 at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre – Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (SFU Woodwards Building, 149 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC).

I’ll be sharing a brand new little book called “Blue Feather” as well as other books.

The evening starts at 6 pm for a pre-talk living room style reception, where there will be free light snacks, a cash bar, and some interactive art-making facilitated by Tin Can Studio.

The talks start at 7pm and feature Kinnie Starr & Andrea Warner.

Tickets are free. Check out the website for more details. Hope to see you there!


“Rad Families: A Celebration” 50% off until the end of February

PM Press is selling Rad Families: A Celebration for 50% off until the end of February. Click here for more info and the coupon code.

Editor and Rad Dad Tomas Moniz will be on a West Coast book tour throughout February and March 2017. Check here to see if he’ll be in your city. Info about the Vancouver event below.


“Rad Families: A Celebration” Event – March 10, 2017

Tomas Moniz, founder of the zine Rad Dad and editor of Rad Families: A Celebration (PM Press, 2016) will be in Vancouver in March. He’ll be talking about this new collection of essays with parents and anyone who has been involved in raising a kid and remained interested in staying ‘rad.’

I had the opportunity to interview Carla Bergman for the book in a piece called “Building a Community of Parents” where we talked about the idea that kids need more than their parents to guide, nourish and inspire them and that parents need their own mentors and guideposts to be the best parents they can be. (Learn more about Carla’s projects here).

Library Journal recently reviewed the book:

These collected essays, written by various contributors, are raw, inspired, and artful, capturing the joys and pains of parenting with no apologies and no lack of grace. As such, some entries will speak more to readers than others, but the truth and beauty they evoke is elegant and grounding, celebrating the victories and struggles of a generation of parents: “I did not grow up in a family where anything seemed possible. The future did not really exist because surviving the present was the priority.” Topics range from sex to incarceration to adoption and include the viewpoints of mothers and fathers both new and seasoned, introspective and wishing for a do-over. VERDICT For the literary-minded, this Rad Dad collective is a gem of inspired thought.

The event will be held at Spartacus Books in East Vancouver. Check out the Spartacus Books website for more details closer to the date.