Mushkegowuk Council held an Emergency Summit on illegal drugs and alcohol in the James Bay communities from Feb. 6-8 in Timmins.
The agenda of the Summit was to engage and empower the people of the Mushkegowuk First Nations to strengthen the regional campaign against illegal drugs and alcohol.
Presenters included NAPS, Ontario Office of the Chief Coroner, Ontario Court of Justice, Payukotayno Child and Family Services, Elders, youth and other community members. Agenda topics were updates on the state of emergency and responses to date, a special Mushkegowuk task force and Key Note speakers from other First Nations in Canada.
Over 20 recommendations presented throughout the three-day Summit. Some of those included establishing funds to support youth and 24/7 services within the communities for drug and mental health services; developing a strategy to address sexual abuse; having community-based healing overseen by traditional knowledge keepers within the region; use of Indigenous knowledge and cultural approaches in developing support programs and services; collaborating with youth in the development of regional and local plans for youth healing and development and ensure the process is youth driven and supported by leadership; and streamlining coordination of off-reserve and on-reserve programs to work cooperatively together.