THE NEED AND VALUE OF CULTURALLY RELEVANT ABORIGINAL PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION IN THE FIELD OF ADDICTIONS
Vancouver, September 24, 2010 – The need for certification of First Nations, Inuit and Metis Addictions Counsellors has been underlined in various National Reports, Strategies and Policies and documents from major First Nations organisations, as part of a wider Aboriginal workforce development movement.
First Nations, Inuit and Metis practitioners from a variety of disciplines and sectors provide substance abuse-related services and certification is one way to ensure they have and maintain the necessary skills to continue to provide the best and most appropriate services to their clients. Many of these practitioners are working for the National Native Alcohol and Drug Addictions Program. NNADAP has been a strong and constant supporter of training and certification for its workforce, with the goal of certifying 80% of its workforce by 2012.
In the establishment of a system for the Certification of Indigenous Certified Addictions Specialists, the FNWACCB recognizes the need to define the role of the addictions counsellor in a manner that is distinct from others who may provide additional services to the same client population.
The FNWACCB, and its sister Indian certification board in the US, support the belief that Certification for the Indigenous Certified Addictions Specialist is necessary because of the recognition that special skills and knowledge are needed to work effectively within the First Nations Community. Certification provides a measure of competence which will be recognized far beyond the First Nations community, and constitutes an important step to ensure the continuation of First Nations Wellness and Addiction Programs.
As the FNWACCB Board underlines in their message to First Nations, Inuit and Metis Addictions Counsellors “… As a professional Aboriginal counsellor, certification demonstrates that you have reached, through your own hard work, a high level of credentialed professional, culturally relevant competence. Certification places you in the ranks of valued professionals who have earned peer and employers recognition. It offers you the opportunity and differenciation that has the best potential to increase your marketability and enhance your career leverage.”
The mission of the First Nations Wellness/Addictions Counsellor Certification Board is to provide relevant certification with standards on a par with other mainstream and international certification organisations and access to training that is specific to traditional First Nations healing philosophy.
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