On this day, FASD International Awareness Day, the Grand Council of the Crees, in collaboration with the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay (CBHSSJB) and the Cree School Board (CSB), is pleased to announce that the Crees of Eeyou Istchee are in the process of launching the first Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Diagnostic and Intervention Clinic in the province of Québec.
At the Annual General Assembly held in August 2012, the membership had mandated Cree organizations to make the issue of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder a priority throughout Eeyou Istchee. An action plan calling for the implementation of a FASD Diagnostic and Intervention Clinic was developed by the Cree Regional Special Needs Advisory Committee and is now being implemented, with funding and support from the CBHSSJB, the CSB and the Cree Regional Authority’s Child and Family Services Department.
The clinic, which will be operational by the end of this year, will provide the services of a multidisciplinary diagnostic team including a Team Leader, two pediatricians, neuropsychologists, occupational therapists and nurses. The team of professionals will travel to the communities to do the actual diagnosis and, more importantly, will work with the communities to ensure that adequate support services will be provided for the children and the families affected.
On behalf of the Grand Council of the Crees, Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come wishes to express his appreciation to all of the partners involved in the implementation of the FASD Diagnostic and Intervention Clinic. This new Clinic will be the first in the province to bring front-line services regarding FASD, and will be instrumental in supporting Cree families affected by the syndrome throughout Eeyou Istchee.