TAKING CULTURAL DIFFERENCES INTO ACCOUNT
The Council on Drug Abuse participated as keynote speakers during a two-day symposium on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment for Vulnerable Youth. The event, held on March 8 and 9, 2012 in Toronto, was hosted by Justice Canada in collaboration with Health Canada for the benefit of the National Anti-Drug Strategy (NADS)-funded organizations working in the areas of youth substance abuse prevention and treatment. During the presentation, CODA was able to demonstrate many of the vital implemented approaches that have shown positive results for preventing and treating substance abuse among vulnerable youth in northern and prairie school communities. At the core of these approaches was the importance of recognizing and understanding culture in order to best achieve authentic engagement. CODA has developed all of its programs taking the social, ethnic, age and community cultures of its audience into account. Regardless of whether it is a group of professional health intermediaries receiving CODA’s Interactive Certified Educator (CCE) training in Saskatoon, or a meeting of the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) in Iqaluit, CODA’s programs will always reflect the culture of its participants. Taking cultural implications into account will not solve all learning and development problems in global training design and delivery. However, it is one of a number of important factors to consider when trying to make the most effective use of time and other resources during the management of learning and development across cultural boundaries.
(Left: Executive Director, Lesley Whyte Right: Programs Manager, Seth Fletcher)