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First Nations Health Authority launches cannabis awareness campaign for Indigenous youth

British Columbia’s First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is launching an eight-week campaign to help promote cannabis awareness among Indigenous youth.

The organization announced the initiative on Monday which will focus on providing young Indigenous people with accurate information regarding the health impacts of using the plant.

The campaign will consist of social media posts, informative print and digital ads, radio segments and transit shelter ads.

The news follows the FNHA launching a cannabis awareness campaign in 2018 post-legalization. The organization says its engagement with First Nations communities has shown that there is still a high demand for information on the plant, particularly among Indigenous youth, pregnant women and others.

It also follows the government of B.C. announcing that it would be providing an additional $2.3 million to help support Indigenous entrepreneurs in the province’s cannabis industry, building on an initial commitment of $7.5 million over three years announced in December.

Read more: B.C. invests additional $2.3M to support Indigenous cannabis businesses

Read more: Artemis Gold, governments and First Nations secure land for Caribou preservation in central B.C.

Prior to the new funding, the province’s First Nations Leadership Council called on the government to make amendments to B.C.’s Cannabis Act to better support First Nations participation in the industry.

“The Indigenous Strengths campaign is a wellness-centered campaign built on Indigenous values of personal and family responsibility, healthy relationships and a culture of choices,” said Dr. Cornelia Wieman, Chief Medical Officer of the FNHA.

“This public education campaign uses a harm reduction approach and promotes informed decision-making,” she added.

The campaign is meant to emphasize the following values among Indigenous youth:

  • My health is Indigenous, our teachings guide me to make choices around cannabis that are safer for my body and my mind
  • My protection is Indigenous, our teachings guide me to understand the impact cannabis has on me and my baby when I’m pregnant or breastfeeding
  • My patience is Indigenous, our teachings guide me to reflect on the benefits of waiting until I’m older before trying cannabis
  • My leadership is Indigenous, our teachings guide me to be a leader to my younger relations by modelling healthy choices when it comes to cannabis

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