What’s Caught our Attention – August 2020

Keeping Families Together

Keeping Families Together (KFT) is a grassroots peer-led advocacy group aiming to provide preventive community care and support in place of unnecessary child apprehensions. KFT honours parents’ stories while creating connection and community for those navigating the child welfare system.

Keeping Families Together collaborates to increase knowledge and awareness of the current child welfare system while asking:

  • How do we put a stop to the injustices that are continuing to happen to families in our community?
  • How can we work to fix the systems that should help us and not hold us back?
  • How can we most effectively connect with service providers whose hearts and minds are committed to the same goals and dreams?

KFT provides in-person support-group meetings and an incredible resource library on their website.

Visit Keeping Families Together here, and visit their resource page here.

Impacts of COVID-19 on Substance Use

Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction’s “Impacts of COVID-19 on Substance Use” page is an online suite of resources from websites and organizations related to COVID-19 and substance use compiled CCSUA’s subject-matter experts. These experts have gathered materials from sources they believe are trustworthy and credible. They have reviewed all resources against a set of criteria that includes alignment with evidence.

Visit the resource page here.

Tent Cities and the Violent Origins of Vancouver’s Parks

The Tyee has published an article articulating the ways our understanding of “parks” and “green pleasure zones” are fraught with colonial underpinnings that often rely on the displacement and criminalization of the people living there. The article is written with the context of the contentious Vancouver overnight park camping bylaw and the history Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

Consider the making of Stanley Park. In the late 1800s, two Indigenous villages — X̱wáýx̱way (Whoi Whoi) and Chaythoos — existed in the place where people connected to the Canadian Pacific Railway and the burgeoning real estate market aimed to create Stanley Park. And when the park was unveiled in 1888, not just Indigenous people but many working-class Asian and European settlers were making homes there — homes demolished to construct a simulation of “pristine” wilderness.

You can read the article here.

Gendering the Scene: Women, Gender-Diverse People, & Harm Reduction in Canada

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network has published a report exploring the state of harm reduction in Canada for women and gender diverse people.

Despite the fact that there are marked differences among men, women, and gender-diverse people in terms of their drug use and how laws and policies affect their drug use, less attention is paid to their access to health services, including the need for gender-competent, culturally safe, and trauma-informed care and harm reduction services. This is especially the case in relation to gender-diverse people who use drugs, for whom there is a troubling lack of data — a shortcoming with implications for their access to health services.

This report highlights the state of harm reduction services in Canada in the context of gender and reviews the impacts on women and gender-diverse people that have been largely ignored until now.

You can download the full report here.

In case you missed it: Crackdown Podcast

Have you listened to the Crackdown Podcast yet?

Crackdown is a critically acclaimed podcast focusing on drugs, drug policy and the drug war led by drug user activists and supported by research. Centered in BC, this podcast updates monthly

You can listen to Crackdown here.