About the Session:
Understanding the context of FASD/FAS in Indigenous populations begins with looking at the history of trauma and suffering faced within the communities. Considerations need to be made in regards to mental health and the impacts of colonialism, the Residential School system, and other examples of systemic racism remembered when looking at the factors that lead to substance abuse during pregnancy. Empowering Indigenous women to take the lead in the diagnosis, education, healing, and continual support of the individuals with FASD/FAS as well as the community behind the individual is imperative going forward.
Ashleigh Spooner is a coordinator at Ontario Native Women’s Association in Thunder Bay. She teaches Educational Psychology and Inclusive Education at Lakehead University with the Faculty of Education and works to promote culturally centered trauma informed approaches to Mental Health and Addiction programming for Indigenous people in her community.