Community Initiatives

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Community Initiatives

Not Our Medicine Awareness Campaign

Desgined by one of the campaign youth - Corbin
Desgined by one of the campaign youth - Corbin

In the 18/19 fiscal year, the Indigenous Health Circle was successful in obtaining one-time funding from the Ministry of Health’s mental health and addiction funding envelope to support the early implementation of the Indigenous-Led Opioid Strategy (ILOS).  The need to create education tools, as well as promote where Indigenous community members could go for help, was an important recommendation in the ILOS.   It was viewed as a necessary step in mobilizing Indigenous communities to commit to a region-wide strategy that would address Opioid misuse in our communities.  The ILOS is viewed as a road map that will guide the development of necessary coordinated and collaborative action.

Opioid Strategy Campaign

Please click below to watch our 5 mini micro behind the scenes documentaries that showcase how this campaign was created!


History about the Campaign

Description:    An opioid addiction awareness campaign designed for social media, digital platforms and print

Goal:    To create an impactful campaign that raises awareness about opioid addiction in Indigenous communities and how to get help. The creation of the campaign included a meaningful collaboration with Beausoleil First Nation, Rama First Nation, Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre; Barrie Native Friendship Centre; Enaahtig Healing Lodge, Orillia Native Women’s Group and Georgian Bay Native Women’s Group.  The focus was on involvement of Indigenous youth.

On March 27th, 2019

25 Indigenous youth attended a day long event to learn about opioid misuse.  There were additional community supporters, helpers, and resource people to support the youth through this process.  Youth were engaged firsthand, in a meaningful and impactful way and given resources and confidence to share their voice by guiding them in the creation of a campaign about opioid addiction.  The youth understood, from the very early planning meetings that were held in their communities, that they would be the creators and designers of the awareness campaign.

With the help of RedCloud Studios, we documented the above process and produced a series of micro documentary (5 x 5 minutes) reflecting the experience had by the youth as they created the campaign.

The purpose of this event was to bring future leaders together in an inspirational and educational way, for a once in a lifetime experience. Throughout the day, the participants had the opportunity to have discussions with addictions counsellors, recovering addicts, health care professionals; bringing them face to face with stories, facts, statistics and personal stories about opioid addiction and the opioid crisis.  Building from this knowledge, the youth created the campaign.  Collectively the youth named this campaign:  Not Our Medicine.

#Not Our Medicine –
Launched on July 3, 2019 (at Lakehead University)

The campaign that the youth created consisted of very personal handwritten messages or notes that allowed them to share their thoughts, feelings, warnings, facts & myths and/or anything that was on their mind from what they learned throughout the day. The messages created by the youth informed the awareness campaign. There was video and photography available with creative components to get the youth involved. Some youth held the #notourmedicine signs, while others made videos or took photos of their art and creative pieces.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to find out more about the Campaign and see all the assets created by the Youth that day       @not our medicine


Visit website for more information about the Indigenous Cohort: