Video Series: Harm Reduction from Indigenous Perspectives

September 12, 2018. Article by: Government of B.C.

A new video series, developed by the First Nations Health Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health, brings together the voices of health providers, community champions and peers from across British Columbia to spark conversations about harm reduction, Indigenous perspectives on harm reduction, stigma, and hopes for the future. Among those interviewed is the late Tracey Morrison. Tracey was a respected harm reduction advocate and spoke passionately about health care for Indigenous people throughout her life. In the video she says, “I want people to know that we are not bad people. We’re good people. We have families. I’m somebody’s sister. I’m somebody’s auntie”

If a person’s going to use, a safer way to do it – that’s part of harm reduction. But it’s also helping people to empower themselves and being able to accept people for who they are and not what they should be. We’re people. We’re not the addiction.

How can you reduce stigma and help stop overdoses? Andrea Medley, Indigenous Wellness Educator with the First Nations Health Authority, suggests challenging your own as well as other people’s perspectives on substance use and addiction. Andrea also recommends learning how to have supportive conversations about substance use. You can be an important connection for someone in your life who is using substances.

It’s about having conversations and making yourself known as a safe person within your friend group, or your family group, or your community group.

The 'Taking Care of Each Other’ video series is often used as a teaching tool to help start and guide conversations. Watch the ‘Reducing Stigma’ video below. Powerful, short videos about harm reduction have also been created. Watch the video shorts here and share them with your friends and family.



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