We're not the Big City: Community and Drug User-led Responses to the Toxic Drug Supply


(This is a UPHNS HUB event, not an NSS-CoP event. The registration link is for the UPHNS Community of Practice HUB, not for this specific event. Please direct any questions to the organizers.)

About the UPHNS Community of Practice HUB

The UPHNS Community of Practice HUB audience is Canada-wide and can serve as a valuable resource for service providers, service users, people who use drugs, researchers, policymakers, businesses, and community members. The UPHNS HUB Community of Practice is open to all.  Join the UPHNS Community of Practice HUB here to be notified of future events.

Please reach out with any questions to kt [at] drpeter.org (kt[at]drpeter[dot]org)

About the Presenters

Ashley Smoke (They/them) (Spirit Name: Medicine for the People) is an Ojibwe, 2 Spirited parent who uses drugs from Alderville First Nations in Ontario. They work as Capacity Building Lead of the Women & HIV/AIDS Initiative, a consultant for The Dr. Peters Centre, CAMH, Meta-Phi and Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as Research Assistant for Ryerson, Public Health Ontario, Unity Health, among others. Ashley also founded their local drug user advocacy group in Northumberland and co-founded The Ontario Network of People Who Use Drugs and Peel Drug Users Network and has made it their mission to disrupt systems and fight for humane treatment for PWUD all over Canada.

Missy McLean - Missy is a community organizer, advocate and facilitator focused on fighting the criminalization and stigmatization of drug use, homelessness, psychiatric survival and poverty. She is an anti-carceral and abolitionist social worker currently working in a community legal clinic. Missy is helping to mobilize the first Overdose Prevention Site in Northumberland County: TweakEasyCBG. She is a member of Moms Stop the Harm and represents Ontario on their Board of Directors. She is also part of the Justice for Soli movement, seeking justice and accountability in the death of Soleiman Faqiri as well as an end to the criminalization of people in mental distress.

Mkwa Giizhis-Agokwe/Kwe (They/She) Mkwa is a 2-spirit water protector, artist, advocate living and working in Nogojiwanong community since 2006. Parent and aunticle to many, a 'Home for Wayward Mystigenous Youth' outside the city. They survived lived experience of child welfare, homelessness, exploitation as well as addiction, disability, neurodivergence. They're also a survivor of domestic and gender based violence. They are a home and business owner, since stabilizing they have been a consistent fixture in Nogojiwanong. Bringing others on their cultural reclamation journey of ceremony and language since their time in child welfare. Their work in Harm Reduction is entrenched with grief and loss which puts them in a well-respected position to organize rallies, vigils and marches. They focus on low-barrier access to ceremony, medicines and supporting people experiencing systemic failure as well as those who use drugs or engage in sex work from an Indigenous Harm Reduction approach. They love radically.

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