Indigenous Harm Reduction Team
The Indigenous Harm Reduction Team (IHRT), or I-Heart, is a group of Indigenous (Native / Aboriginal) folks who do harm reduction by and for Indigenous people. We are individuals who come from many nations (including nations on the island), who hold many different skills and identities, and who practice harm reduction in many ways including front-line work. We all currently live on Lkwungen, Esquimalt, and WSANEC territories. We work to identify and name colonial harms and Indigenous resistance in our work. We operate from a harm reduction lens that includes abstinence, instead of abstinence as the only solution to keeping people safer.
Harm reduction = community care
Community wellness is our goal. We believe everyone deserves access to medicine, healing, culture, and community. We create spaces where Indigenous people who experience(d) stigma, discrimination, criminalization, and isolation because of alcohol or drug use are valued and centred.
By, with, and for, Indigenous communities
We do education around many different kinds of harm reduction including consent, safer sex, different kinds of drugs and their effects, safer substance use, colonization and substances, and overdose response. We also organize healing circles and art / culture workshops and groups where sobriety isn’t required. We got together to do this work because we recognize the gap in conversations by, with, and for, Indigenous communities and community members.