National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW) in Behchoko
The National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW) in Behchoko was held November 13-19, 2016. The Community Wellness Programs Department hosted the week-long event to promote and create awareness around the issues of Addictions around the community of Behchoko.
We know and understand the varying issues relating to Addictions and we felt that finding speakers with lived experiences of “Addictions” in their life would contribute to a positive impact on participants, as their shared stories and experiences relate to them in some way. Also sharing their struggles and triumphs with Addictions has led them to overcome these barriers to help them get to where they are today…leading a positive way of life. For some, we understand that it may take them time, but there are others that can surpass the ordeals they are ready to leave behind them.
We began the week on Sunday November 13 with an opening ceremony, feeding of the fire, a community feast and family fun night of games. We were extremely delighted to invite a young lady named Tanis Niditchie to speak to our community and especially to our youth on how she overcame her issues with Addictions and also noting her 16 month sobriety, she made a powerful impact with her personal journey shared. On Tuesday & Wednesday evening, we had the honor of listening to two amazing local speakers that spoke to our community members on Addictions, Forgiving, Gossiping, Stories from our elders and Leading a Healthy community – one step at a time. Many people had the opportunity to share their personal stories, as a way of healing for them and people respected each story. On Thursday and Friday evening, we also had the honor of inviting very inspiring and uplifting presenters – Leonard, Anna, Deanne that presented on Loss/Grief/Healing from Addictions. We ended the week-long events with a community dinner, closing remarks, a short drum dance and a family dance.
Overall, each night was a success due to the number of people (approximately 80-165 people) that participated and showed their support for the many people that shared their stories. Food and refreshments were provided every night and fun games/activities followed after all the speakers spoke to end each night on a positive note.