FASD Awareness Day 2003
Reports From Provinces in Canada
Home of FASWorld and International FAS Awareness Day
Submitted by activists on the FASDAY mail list, compiled by Teresa Kellerman of Tucson, Arizona, and Christine Rogan of Auckland, New Zealand.
Leanne Maguire, FASD Training Coodinator/Community Developer, reported: The Edmonton FASD Training and Development Committee organised a ceremony at 9am at the Edmonton City Hall where a proclamation from the Mayor was read out to over 100 people gathered. FAS Knots were passed out and guests heard a drum presentation by the River Cree Drum group. Speakers included Dr Val Massey and a moving speech was delivered by a father and husband talking about the supportive role in the mother’s journey of pregnancy. Churches in the region and the City Hall tower bells joined in the Bell concordance at 9.09am as well.
4th Annual Fetal Alcohol Canadian Expertise (FACE) Research Roundtable was held on September 9, 2003 in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Starting October 21, 2003 the entire conference will be available for viewing on the internet: BC's Knowledge Network
Thelma Vincent of
the Fetal Alcohol Support Society in Grand Prairie reported: We had an all day
event at the big Prairie Mall, which included bells, "Baby Mine," information
packets, egg demo, prize drawings, and proclamation signing by the Mayor. The
local paper carried a nice article entitled "For Whom the Bell Tolls." More
details in the FASDAY 2003 Grande Prairie Report
At the Maple Ridge Asante Centre for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome promoted awareness day by sending out FAS Day kits to public health units, infant development programs, youth clinics, women’s organisations and to many others. They posted FASD Day info on their Website www.asantecentre.org where the kits are available for download. The centre also made pens, magnets and FAS knots available for purchase as a fundraiser for next year.
In Victoria BC a warning label “Alcohol and Pregnancy Don’t Mix, Good for Baby, Good for you!” and with a local 0800 number were distributed. Local radio and TV got involved including a report on FASDay action by local pub owners to support mandatory warning labels to help prevent FAS.
David Gerry, Co-chair FASD of Community Circle, reported: We have funding from the Canadian Government for this banner (see logo on middle bottom of the banner) for our FASD Awareness project. There will be about 116,000 cars one way past this banner for the week it will be up in downtown Victoria. An article on FASD Day in Focus on Women and Island Parent was published in the Goldstream Gazette.
Cheyenne Mary, health promotion/nducation nurse, reported: The Community of Elsipogtog gathered at 9.09 am on the 9th at the local church where the bells rang in FASDay. The school children marched for the school to the church displaying posters which they created relating to FASD. Speeches from prominent community members were shared.
Vicky of Dartmouth
reported: As a parent of a 2 year old child with FASD, I want to thank Teresa
for her website and the links there. I was inspired to contact my local
newspaper for FASD Day and they responded by sending a reporter to talk to me.
Scary but I did it. If it will make a difference for just one child it will be
The Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Center and the N’American Friendship Centre hosted the second FASD Awareness Day ceremony in downtown London, at St Peter’s Basilica with guest speakers and a non-alcoholic beverage contest. Prizes were awarded for the top three. Media included a significant article entitled “Robbed in the Womb” in the London Free Press and a London TV interview.
At Mt McKay, a local landmark that overlooks Lake Superior that has special significance to First Nations People, a drumming ceremony took place as well as in 12 outlying reserves.
FASIN Thunder Bay ON.
Shiona of Acton
reported: I'm afraid we did nothing much in our small corner this year due to
family circumstances, but in my 8 year old FASD son's communication book today
he wanted me to write "Today, all over the world, church bells are ringing. It
is FASday. They are telling pregnant women not to drink. Alcohol hurts babies.
The babies cry." The children are spreading the message too.
In Thunder Bay,
F.A.S.I.N. Co-founder Margie Fulton reported that steeple bells rang at several
locations throughout the city. Maureen, the coordinator for the NorWest Health
Center FASD Program, did an excellent job. Ramona Moore, a young adult with
FASD, gave a speech that brought many to tears. Newspaper article can be read in
Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal. More details in the
Thunder Bay FADAY 2003 Report
In Toronto, the native community held a drop-in BBQ at the Native Canadian Centre and information sessions at other agencies.
The 30 year anniversary of FAS was the theme for the breakfast held at St. Barnabas Parish Hall. This included display booths, presentations including the history of FASD and personal experiences.
FASD Project Coordinator
Ceremonies were also held downtown at Metcalf and Gloucester.
In Regina, bells were rung and speeches were given by politicians and persons
with FASD. We had First Nations dancers and a piper. There was an awareness walk
for schools and an evening information session as well. Lots of media, with
front page photo and story in the local newspaper. More details in the
FASDAY 2003 Regina Report. One of the
members of our network was away on a houseboat on Lake Diefenbaker with 8 other
women on Sept. 9. She took with her knots, pamphlets and posters, and
distributed these, with appropriate words, at 9am. One of the women, who works
at the YWCA, took all the extras home with her, to take to work.
The Battlefords FAS Interagency Committee “Partners in Prevention” organises a full day of events which included displays, games an door prizes an a BBQ.
In Nipawin SK, the Kids First outreach program for high needs pregnant women distributed FAS knots to schools families and interested others.
Mental Health & Addiction Services
In Saskatoon the rain prevented a planned walk. Nevertheless indoor activities such as showing the video “Guarding the Unborn Spirit” was enjoyed by almost 100 people including the Mayor and a member of the Legislative Assembly.
Saskatoon Fetal Alcohol Support Network
One unusual place to mark FASDay in Saskatchewan this year was on a houseboat on Lake Diefenbaker.
In Dawson City the Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program along with the Dawson Women’s Shelter sponsored a pancake breakfast at the Catholic Church. The Deputy Mayor read out the City’s proclamation. The Church bells rang in historic Klondike fashion and all people wore FAS knots. In the evening all alcohol establishments held a “pregnant pause” at 9.09pm – a moment for those drinking to stop and think about FASD while actively partaking.
Roberta & Plum
The Puerto Rico Healthy Start Project at the Department of Health prepared a proclamation to be signed by the Secretary of health and each of the 8 Health Regions organised an FASDay activity.
Puerto Rico Healthy Start Project Coordinator
“South Australia reported a successful FASDay handing out FAS knot bookmarks and alcohol and pregnancy brochures at our local university. Many of the students had not heard of FAS and asked questions. In the evening a celebratory dinner was held to enable Australian FASD advocates who formed the National Organisation for FAS and Related Disorders (NOFASARD) to meet face to face for the first time. One FASD volunteer spoke about FASD at a conference for Aboriginal Education Workers, many of whom knew nothing about heavy use of alcohol in aboriginal communities.
FASaware UK issued press releases and visited the Home Office in London to discuss harm reduction strategies for FASD. A large advertising company developed a high profile advertsing campaign for FAS and launched it on 9th September.
Gloria & Peter Armistead
2003 was a first for Ireland with the launch of FASD Awareness day there thanks to the efforts of one family. Posters were put up in as many places as possible with a link to the website www.fasireland.org . A talk was given at a local high school and a meeting held with social services staff to increase their knowledge and generate interest. A drive to Dublin the next day to begin developing a constitution for Foetal Alcohol Support Ireland added to this successful Irish first.
A new member to join FASWORLD was the French speaking Island of Reunion situated 700 km east of Madagascar. In the 17th Century the island used to be called Isle Bourbon. The Doctor heading FASDay events for the island advises that FASD is a major problem for them.
Dr Theirry Maillard
President of a French FAS care and research group, Reunisaf
In South Auckland, Lavea’i Trust held a Pacific “Break FASD” and a morning seminar on FASD with guest speakers. The Open Home Foundation, a national foster care organisation arranged for two of Auckland’s oldest churches to ring steeple bells at 9.09am. In the Waikato an MP launched the day which included displays in local libraries. Alcohol Healthwatch Trust organised a “Where to from Here?” action meeting calling for future action to replace the work previously carried out by the Fetal Alcohol New Zealand Trust which had to close its doors this year.
Health Promotion Advisor for Alcohol Healthwatch
FAS Community Resource Center