Southern Manitoba First Nation Commercial Tobacco Reduction Strategy Overview
The First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) announced new funding for two projects per region across Canada in summer of 2014. A letter of intent process, proposal writing and approval was then initiated fall to winter 2014/15. SERDC Health Director met with other collaterals at the Health Technicians level to propose an amalgamation of resources for the southern Manitoba region to unite for this programming as only two projects were to be funded in the province and this would alleviate competition for funding. They agreed and offered letters of support for SERDC to take the lead on this endeavor.
As a result, SERDC was successful in receiving funding for the largest tobacco collaboration in Canada with thirty-six First Nations represented. This project was approved for three years with six essential elements including: protection, reducing access to tobacco products, prevention, education, cessation and data collection.
Staff delivers educational programming on commercial and traditional tobacco topics including the harmful effects of commercial tobacco use in the communities through health fairs, school and community-wide events. The Southern Manitoba First Nations Commercial Tobacco Circle is advisory group comprised of community and tribal council representatives that meet quarterly to help with the multi-year workplan deliverables. The Circle has twelve members that offer expertise in their knowledge of the community(s) they work with and specific program areas of their front-line health employment.