What Could Harm Reduction Look Like in Manitoba?

April 20, 2023

Dr. Marcia Anderson, Tristan Dreilich, Dr. Shawna Ferris, Levi Foy, Shohan Ilsley. Introductions from Elder Margaret Lavallee and facilitated by Kohkum Leslie Spillett

Harm reduction is founded in public health, community, and social justice. Health, safety, and freedom from discrimination are all rights enshrined in Canadian, Indigenous, and international laws and protocols. They have also become highly politicized points of policy here in Manitoba – with sharp distinctions between urban and rural realities. The focus on political calculation rather than health and wellness has led to an increasing amount of neglect, hospitalizations, and deaths of fellow Manitobans – particularly in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

On April 20th, 2023, we hosted a roundtable to learn from practitioners, scholars, and advocates (and those who identify as a combination of all three) involved in harm reduction throughout the province. The event was co-organized by the Centre for Social Science Research and Policy (UM), the Centre for Human Rights Research (UM), Ongomiizwin, and University of Winnipeg’s Global College.