2018 Manitoba Harm Reduction Conference:  Improving Access in Rural, Remote, Northern, and Indigenous Communities

Conference Agenda

Please scroll down for descriptions of each session. Descriptions will be updated as they are confirmed. 

Be part of the conversation on social media by following and posting to #mhrc18 on Facebook and Twitter. See our session hashtags for live Tweets. 

Tuesday February 27th

8:00am - 9:00am Registration and breakfast
9:00am - 10:00am Welcoming Ceremony
10:00am - 10:15am Opening remarks
10:15am - 10:30am Who dat? The Peers!
Presenters: Dawn Lavand & the MHRN Peer Working Group
10:30am - 11:00am Networking Break
11:00am - 12:00pm Understanding Harm Reduction Beyond The Needle!
Facilitator: Shohan Illsley
12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch
1:00pm - 2:15pm Keynote: An Indigenist Public Health View on Drug Use and Harm Reduction
Presenters: Marcia Anderson, with Michael Champagne and Jenna Wirch
2:15pm - 2:45pm Networking Break
2:45pm - 4:00pm Keynote: Understanding Privilege!
Presenter: Tasha Spillett
4:00pm - 4:15pm Wrap up

Wednesday February 28th

8:00am - 9:00am Registration and breakfast
9:00am - 9:15am Opening remarks
9:15am - 10:30am Decolonization, It’s not just a catch phrase!
Panelists: Uzoma Asagwara, Leslie Spillett, Hazim Ismail, Ian Whetter
10:30am - 10:45am Networking Break
10:45am - 12:00pm Keynote: Beyond Settler Harm Reduction
Presenter: Ian Whetter
12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch
1:00pm - 2:15pm
Breakout Sessions
Presentation on the Clan System
Presenter: Lawrence Henry
Sex Positivity and Reproductive Justice
Presenters: Uzoma Asagwara & Melissa Brown
2:15pm - 2:45pm Networking Break
2:45pm - 4:00pm Breakout Sessions Innovative programming addressing jurisdictional issues!
Panelists: Bernalda Robinson, Stasie McKinnon, Cheri Downey
I am a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, friend, and I use drugs! Examining how we treat women who use drugs
Panelists: Margaret Bryans, Melissa Brown, Charlotte Nolin, Sandy Banman
4:00pm - 4:15pm Wrap up

Thursday March 1st

8:00am - 9:00am Registration and breakfast
9:00am - 9:15am Opening remarks
9:15am - 10:30am Keynote: Get High? Don’t Die. Supporting people who use drugs
Presenter: Substance Consulting, Margaret Bryans & Lukas Maitland
10:30am - 11:00am Networking Break
11:00am - 12:00pm Sex, Drugs and STIs in Manitoba; Epi, Surveillance and Trends
Presenters: Carla Loeppky, Shelley Marshall, Stephanie Van Haute
12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch
1:00pm - 2:15pm
Breakout Sessions
The Role of Peers in Program Design, Implementation and Evaluation
Presenters: MHRN Team
STBBI & Co–infection 101
Presenter: Mary Choy
2:15pm - 2:45pm Networking Break
2:45pm - 3:45pm Queer, trans and Two Spirit people are in our communities!
Presenters: Levi A. Foy & Brielle Beardy-Linklater
3:45pm - 4:00pm Evaluation
4:00pm - 4:30pm Closing ceremony


Keynote Presentations



Presenter: Marcia Anderson

There is evidence that Indigenous peoples experience disproportionate negative health outcomes from harmful drug use. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada calls on us to understand this, and all health outcomes, as a result of previous government policies. Some of the ways that previous policies have negatively impacted health include creating unequal conditions for Indigenous children to grow up in and using a criminal justice approach to address drug use. Using the best available public health evidence and Indigenous knowledges of health and healing can provide us approaches to both prevent drug use and reduce harms for people who use drugs.


Presenter: Tasha Spillett

As we commit to making systemic and community level change, it can still be challenging to incorporate social justice principles into our everyday lives. How can people with privilege actively engage in interrupting systemic racism and forms of oppression? This workshop focuses on unpacking the Canadian Nationhood narrative, and understandings white privilege in a settler-colonial context.  Participants will engage in interactive activities to develop their awareness and begin to critically identify how they can operate as allies to Indigenous and radicalized communities. This workshop focuses specifically on mechanisms of place, power and privilege, and institutionalized racism.  


Presenter: Ian Whetter

Paths to wellness for Indigenous people have been well described, documented and demonstrated. We are rich with expertise. Yet, we work for service systems that continue to renew and reinforce white power and privilege and perpetuate harm. If the terms Indigenous Health, Decolonization and Reconciliation are going to mean anything, those of us who are settlers have to stop causing harm and start working toward a different shared future. Let's start talking about how to do that in a good way.


Presenters: Substance Consulting

We want to talk about drugs. We especially want to talk about how the drug war has made life harder and more dangerous for people who take drugs, and their loved ones. We want to think about how our own personal relationships with drugs play into our working relationships with people who use drugs, and we want to explore how to have meaningful conversations about drugs with the people in our lives that use them. Our goal is to really dig into how we can best keep the people that we love alive and feeling supported by us.


Plenary and Break Out Sessions


Who Dat? The Peers!

Presenter: Dawn Lavand & the MHRN Peer Working Group

The Winnipeg Peer Working Group is the advisory body to the MHRN and are experts in harm reduction. The MHRN has always valued peer voices at their tables, meetings and circles; we have always had so much to share and learn from one another. What we often find through our moments together is we have more in common then we initially think or feel. The Winnipeg-based Peer Working Group would like to continue exercising sounding their voice and expressing statements you may identify with, invite you participate in this presentation.


Presenter: Mary Choy

This workshop is intended to raise basic awareness of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV biology in the context of co-infection including transmission, testing, disease progression and treatment. Both HIV and HCV are stigmatized illnesses with an overlap of populations that are infected/affected. HIV has a higher profile so there is a tendency to downplay the seriousness of HCV infection. The workshop will assist frontline service providers to help clients address dual diagnosis, dual stigma and maintaining good health while living with co-infection.


Presenters: Levi A. Foy and Brielle Beardy-Linklater

Lessons and Reflections from Like That: The presentation will focus on a narrative of my own experiences and to situate myself and the work that I do in Winnipeg. I will then give an overview of the Sunshine House and programming, as well the origins of the Like That program. Then I will discuss what we have been able to do successfully, what has been challenging, and how we have fostered the growth of a community/family.