The Black Indigenous Harm Reduction Alliance is a group of community workers of diverse experience who wish to draw attention to the need for access to self-determined and holistic health services within our communities. Our work seeks to develop harm reduction approaches that meet our communities where they are at, and to expand understandings of harm reduction to include environmental violence, and the criminalization of youth, sex workers, street-involved peoples, and LGBTQ2S people). We recognize that Black and Indigenous people in Canada are heavily impacted by extremely high rates of preventable health issues, poverty, and incarceration, yet we are rarely represented as leaders in harm reduction initiatives despite long histories of kinship and community-based responses to these needs. There are few Black or Indigenous centred harm reduction organizations, and we aim to address this at a grassroots level.
Through peer-to-peer discussions, harm reduction education, and advocacy within mainstream harm reduction spaces, we aim to work with our communities to build kinship, empowerment, and leadership and strengthen ties between Black and Indigenous individuals and communities.
Lindsay Nixon, Chelsea Vowel, Robyn Maynard, & Sasha Simmons at our community conversation on Black & Indigenous solidarity, February 19, 2018.