Author Archives: edmontonfetalalcoholnetwork



From a free carnival, to getting the kids outside and enjoying a day of play – there is plenty to do this weekend in Edmonton with the kids. Whether you’re searching for outdoor activities, or indoor activities, we’ve got you covered and are sharing some of our favourite things to do this weekend, with kids, in Edmonton.

Here’s what to do this weekend in Edmonton with kids:

Day of Play | Saturday, 10-2
Join us for a day of free family fun at Martin Deerline’s Day of Play! Bouncy castles, pedal tractor course, wagon rides, farmyard animals and much more.

Free Chariot Tune Up Day | Saturday 9-3
Keep your kids safely in tow all summer long! The Thule tech team will be at United Cycle to inspect & tune-up your Thule Chariot child carrier for FREE!

Free Family Carnival | Saturday, 9-11:30
Come out to Twin Peaks community league for a free family carnival. There’s a Pancake breakfast , Parade. Games. Crafts. Dance. Fireworks. Face painters. Magician – and plenty to entertain the kids and adults.

Free Kids Craft Day | Saturday, 12-3
Join us in the Hudson’s Bay toy department for a free DIY craft for kids ages 5-10… and bring your doll for more fun! Register for your FREE TICKETS to secure your spot and receive your surprise gift. This event is on a first come, first served basis. Creativity is limitless but our art supplies are not.

Walterdale Community Picnic | Sunday, 11-3
It’s Annie Walter’s birthday and we’re celebrating with a picnic in the park! Bring your favourite picnic blanket and enjoy some fresh iced tea, delicious snacks from the food trucks and the live music of The Jivin’ Belles! Spend the day exploring the life of Annie Walter, her homes and her community.

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‘I knew I needed to change my life’: Drug court graduate credits program with second chance


A 21-year-old woman who was heavily pregnant when she was arrested on drug charges credits a rehabilitative program with giving her a second chance.

“As soon as I found out I was having a baby … I knew I needed to change my life,” Julia Carriere told a full courtroom Wednesday, speaking about her one-year-old son Richard. “He is my biggest inspiration.”

Carriere is the latest graduate of the Edmonton Drug Treatment Court Service, a program that delays sentencing after an offender pleads guilty to a criminal offence related to drug addiction. For at least a year, participants attend court weekly, access services and undergo regular drug testing.

Carriere entered the program in March 2016 when she was seven-months pregnant. She had been selling drugs in the community and believed she was a functioning addict, she said.

Dave Hill, assistant chief Crown prosecutor, explained that by successfully completing drug court, Carriere avoided “a significant period of custody.”

“You are amazing. Thank you for all your hard work in the program,” he told her. Carriere was sentenced to one day, served Wednesday in court.

Hill read out a lengthy list of her accomplishments, including a slew of courses on parenting, mental and physical health, relationships as well as financial literacy. She completed 117 clean drug tests, attended 266 meetings and volunteered for 51 hours in the community, he added.

However, drug court isn’t able to operate at its full capacity, said program manager Grace Froese.

“Our funding was reduced by about 50 per cent almost two years ago,” she said, explaining the current budget is about $367,000, including federal, provincial and private funding sources. “We had to lay staff off and downsize the program.”

Now enrolment is limited to 20 offenders at a time, down from more than 30.

“We are offering a long-term solution,” Froese said, pointing to Carriere as an example of the program’s success — she had been in and out of the justice system as a teenager.

“This is a girl who had become an experienced criminal,” Froese said. “She is now going to NAIT, raising her son and building her life.”

Carriere even took up new hobbies, learning piano and dedicating herself to Latin dancing.

Froese told Wednesday’s courtroom that she is immensely proud and reminded Carriere about what she said when she applied to join the program: “I need this chance and I’m not going to blow it … I don’t want to miss my kid’s first steps and first words.”

With her parents visibly emotional in court, holding their fidgeting grandson, Carriere told them she is grateful.

“You never gave up on me,” she said, crying. “I couldn’t have done this without you guys, I love you so much.”

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7 Ways to Survive Summer With Kids


It is with great anticipation that both kids and parents look forward to Summer. Kids anticipate ten weeks of freedom, fun and memory-making while us parents anticipate ten weeks of juggling schedules and keeping the kids busy and out of our hair, all while still trying to get them to bed on schedule while the sun tells them the party is still on much past their bedtime.

Here are seven ways to keep your sanity while making this summer one to remember:

Create a Kids Calendar
The key to any successful block of time is having a schedule for it. The difference between our work schedules, tidily maintained in Outlook or Gmail, and the schedule of our kids is that our kids schedule is usually kept in the mind of Mom or Dad — change this.

Get three pieces of big poster board and create a homemade calendar for the next 10 weeks with a ruler and a felt pen on the first two pages. Allow the blocks to be big enough so that your 6-year-old can draw in activities if he/she can not write them in yet. Let them work with you as you put things onto each day. On the third page, make a list of activities which are optional and can be fit in if you hear, “I’m bored.” Then you can refer them to the list!

Book Em’ – Fully
As counterintuitive as it is to fully book a summer schedule, do it — with one caveat: also book in down time. Call it chill time, or hangin’ out, but book it in, too.

When the kids see every day of the calendar has something planned, they will begin to feel comfortable with the fact that things are happening this summer.

When Mom and Dad see long blocks of hanging out, you can re-visit the schedule and come up with some things to do.

Every Week a Theme
Decide on a theme for each week of the summer. Then, base at least one meal and one activity or craft around that theme. This helps to fill in time slots in the schedule and makes summer fun easier for kids who will get into the themes even outside of the subscribed calendar activity and meal.

Some examples: A certain nationality or cuisine, colors or soccer (the meal could be from the country of your favourite team or else you have orage popsicles for dessert to represent oranges at half time).

Share Responsibility
Don’t be shy with this one. Call up the parents of your child’s two best friends or an auntie/uncle/grandparent and book in at least two sleepover nights per month. Reciprocate for the friend. This will give your child something to look forward to and will give you at least two nights off.

Bonus points for negotiating a full day with the best friend so that you take the best friend from 10 a.m. to 10 a.m. and the other family will do the same for you. Now you have two full days and nights off.

Go Old School
Make the kids play outside. Send them out with minimal toys and see what they come up with. Kids of all ages like bubbles, running through sprinklers and body paints. Have an old-fashioned water balloon fight or watermelon eating contest.

Follow With New School
Give them some control — ask what they would like to do. Plan a movie night or games night and let the kids pick the movie or video games you see or play. Let them laugh at your skills or at jokes in a kids movie.

Remember what summer was like for you when you were a kid. Sure, you wanted to hang with your parents, but above all else, I am willing to bet that the memories you have are from the time you tried something new, bent a rule, had big laughs, stayed up late, slept under the stars. Most of these things do not require a lot of planning, money or time… they require you as the parent to allow your child to explore what being a kid is all about in the freedom of summer.

Let your kids be kids.

Sometimes, this means standing back and letting them make a few memories.

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Killing our youth’: Natuashish leaders call for crackdown on bootlegging


A community leader in the remote First Nation reserve of Natuashish, N.L., says it’s time to get tough on bootleggers and drug dealers to eradicate substance abuse in a community that has seen two suicides this spring, along with reports of free-flowing booze and gas sniffing.

“We need to put them out, kick them out of the community, so they don’t keep bringing in the stuff, they don’t keep selling the stuff that’s hurting our children,” said Mary Jane Edmonds, a former band councillor.

Alcohol was banned in 2008 after a vote by residents of the Innu community, which is nearly 300 kilometres north of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Two years later, people there voted again to stay dry.


ABout 930 people live in Natuashish, an Innu community on the northern coast of Labrador. (Jacob Barker/CBC).

But Edmonds said the local bylaw has been rendered useless since RCMP officers stopped searching all airline passengers coming into Natuashish.

The only way to get into the northern Labrador reserve in winter is by air. Summer travel involves a days-long ferry ride.

Bootlegged booze goes for upwards of $300 for a 750-millilitre bottle. Drugs, mainly marijuana and cocaine, are also easy to find.

Young people who can’t afford either often turn to gas sniffing.

This spring, the community of 936 people has seen two young people take their own lives, including 16-year-old Thunderheart Tshakapesh, son of the deputy grand chief of the Innu Nation.


Thunderheart Napeu Tshakapesh, 16, took his own life in May. (Thunderheart Napeu Tshakapesh/Facebook)

There have also been two fires in abandoned houses known locally as gas-sniffing hangouts. Two young people were badly burned; an 11-year-old is being treated in a Toronto hospital.

Edmonds said the drugs, alcohol and gas go hand in hand in hand, triggering social problems for which she says bootleggers and drug dealers are ultimately to blame.

“That’s what’s really killing our youth and killing our culture and killing everything that we hold precious.”

RCMP won’t explain changes

It’s a concern echoed by band council Chief John Nui, who in May told CBC News the scaled-back searches by police have led to more alcohol abuse.

“It’s visible in our community,” Nui said. “I’m not going to deny it or anything … alcohol is freely flowing around in our community again.”

Natuashish booze

The sale and possession of alcohol is illegal in Natuashish but that hasn’t kept it out. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

RCMP said they are still conducting regular inspections, but band council officials and other residents of Natuashish said while officers used to search every piece of luggage, now they only search sporadically.

When CBC News visited Natuashish in early June, there were no officers at the airport to check bags. Reporters also visited the local detachment but the door was locked while officers were out on patrol.

In an emailed response to CBC questions, Cpl. Trevor O’Keefe wrote, “Police use various investigative techniques to obtain the necessary legal grounds to search luggage. Searches have recently been conducted which have resulted in the seizure of drugs and alcohol.”

Relatives fear retribution

Edmonds said many people are afraid of speaking out about drug dealing and bootlegging because the community is so small and often the dealers are relatives.

“A lot of the people that are selling drugs to young people and other adults are people we know. They could be our cousin, our uncle, our aunt,” she said.

RCMP vehicle fire Natuashish

In May, a 29-year-old man was arrested for setting fire to a decommissioned RCMP vehicle in Natuashish. (Facebook)

Not only are relatives reluctant to betray their loved ones, they’re also worried about retribution.

“Because we know for a fact that when we try to deal with it, their property gets attacked. Somebody gets their tires slashed or their windows broken.”

‘A lot of the people that are selling drugs to young people and other adults are people we know. They could be our cousin, our uncle, our aunt.’– Mary Jane Edmonds

There’s a lot of healing to do, Edmonds said — getting rid of alcohol and drugs is just the first step.

Many residents are living with trauma: deaths, fires, separation from parents.

The Mushuau Innu have lived in Natuashish for only 15 years or so. Up until 2002, they lived in Davis Inlet, on an island off the coast of Labrador, a place chosen for them by provincial officials back in the 1960s.

Davis Inlet made international headlines in 1993 with images of gas-sniffing children who said they wanted to die. The town was notorious for its substandard housing and contaminated water.

Back to the land

The infrastructure in Natuashish — 18 kilometres up the coast, on the mainland of Labrador — is better, but Edmonds says the community has not healed emotionally.

She wants to see fellow Innu embrace traditional practices — getting back to the land, spending more time in tents instead of houses.

“There are very few secrets going on in a tent because we are all sharing. We share with everybody and there’s not much privacy, which is good,” she said. “There’s nothing bad happening in a tent because it’s so open.”

Mary Jane Edmonds stokes fire

Mary Jane Edmonds stokes the fire inside her traditional tent. She wants to see more Innu people return to their traditions on the land. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

Edmonds is also planning a 100-kilometre walk for women and girls of Natuashish at the end of June. She said those kinds of activities get the community energized.

“This is where I want to do my teachings with the young girls,” she said.

“You can be clean and sober and enjoy being out on the land rather than looking for artificial fun in the community. When I say ‘artificial’ I mean drinking and doing drugs and sniffing gas.”

Before her vision of healthy children and a healthy community can happen, Edmonds said dealing and bootlegging need to end.

“We need to do something about it,” she said. “The community has to come together.”

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Date: Tuesday July 4 , 2017

Location: Catholic Social Services – 10320 146 Street

Supports and Services Meeting: 8:30 – 9:30 am, AGENDA

  1. Call to order
  2. Approval last meeting minutes
  3. Reporting
  4. Finances
  5. Short-Term Crisis Intervention Worker
  6. Additions
  7. Program Updates

 EFAN Society Meeting: 9:30 – 11:30 am, AGENDA

  1. Call to order
  2. Approval last meeting minutes
  3. Finances
  4. New Research
  5. Council, Interagency, Committee Updates
  6. Event Planning, K Days parade, AGM, FASD day Updates
  7. Additions
  8. Program Updates

Click to download agenda:  EFAN Agenda July 2017




If you’re in Sherwood Park, or want a way to get those rides in for some mid-week, or weekend fun if you’re staying in town, the Midway hits Sherwood Park Mall this week. You can head out the Midway, take in the rides, eat that delicious fair food and slide down the slide to your heart’s content, all week long.

Taking in the fair can be expensive, there are usually two times when there are unlimited ride passes (bracelets) available daily. You can ride between 3-6, or ride between 6-10, daily. Bracelets are $30 for the time limit, and available at the ticket booth at the Midway.

NOTE: last year we went to the fair and they sold us bracelets forty-five minutes before they expired. Both us, and friends of ours weren’t aware of the expiry time – we just assumed that the bracelets were on sale for that period. Nope. There was no mention of this on any sign – and no mention when we purchased, just a simple sign with ‘Bracelets 3-6’. Wildrose Shows was non-apologetic, and I’ve received countless emails since this time about the same issue and people asking about who to contact – so, be aware and get there early at the time bracelets are on sale.

This time when I called to inquire, I was happy to hear them specify that the bracelets were only valid between this time limit, as the last fair we went to left us without any instruction that they were only valid between a certain time.

Want to reduce the cost? To save a bit of money, have dinner before you go – and take advantage of the ride passes for 6-10, or grab something cheap to eat at the food court (and get the chance to cool off) at the mall.

Sherwood Park Mall is located at 2020 Sherwood Dr.

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Student Spotlight: Harrison Grogan (University of Manitoba)

CanFASD Connect

We are pleased to introduce our first ever Student Spotlight: Harrison Grogan. Our Student Spotlight aims to highlight the unique research going on the field of FASD by student researchers across the country!

Harrison Grogan Harrison is a third year undergraduate student in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. He began working in the field of FASD as a Research Assistant under the supervision of Dr. Ana Hanlon-Dearman at the Manitoba FASD Centre.

A Health Diary for Caregivers of Children Ages 6-13 with FASD

Written by: Harrison Grogan & Dr. Hanlon-Dearman

FASD is complicated – parents know that with FASD, “every day is an adventure”. One person diagnosed with FASD can have a completely different selection of strengths and weaknesses compared to another person. These differences relate to the 10 brain domains which act as guidelines for diagnosing FASD. To obtain a diagnosis, a person must have severe…

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