Annual Training


Save the Date – February 1, 2016v5_Page_1


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….. Main Powerpoint presentation – Colleen Anne Dell & Sharon Clarke & Barb Fornssler – access here
Indigenous Wellness Framework Powerpoint presentation – Mary Deleary – access here
Working Together for Change Powerpoint presentation – Fern Stockdale Winder – access here
Ribbons of Reconciliation note card – access here to download and print
Ribbons of Reconciliation created by training participants – access here
Video recording of the training – contact Colleen at to access the video file (too large to post)



2015-06 Flyer - Honouring Our Strengths

If you missed the webinar…

A recording of the webinar and a copy of the slides are available here:

A few more things to share… Here are the videos that were introduced during today’s webinar:

Introduction to HOS –

Project team –

HOS project site –


 I am so appreciative of the opportunity to learn and share with everyone at the training event. It’s easy to become isolated in terms of evidence informed practice. I learned a lot and once again thank-you!   – SK Health Region Participant

Please share my sincere appreciation with the team for providing such a well-planned and helpful training, every detail was attended to and each piece of the day had a clear purpose. I gained a good deal of information and will certainly  work with my team to implement a more informed approach to gaining and using evidence. One of the most important  outcomes for me was that I have more tools to gain information and I can also connect with the team at the Research Chair in Substance Abuse for guidance should I need it.   – SK  Health CBO Participant

There is a lot of talk in the addiction field about evidence-informed practices, but not very much addresses what this means to Service Providers for their jobs. Evidence-informed practices are commonly defined as “those [practices] that reflect the deliberate and systematic use of the best available evidence, acquired through research and evaluation of practice. This is combined with a distillation of the experience of experts where that evidence is not available, to inform clinical decision making, program development and policy creation” (BCMHSUS). But is this as straight forward as it sounds? The annual training day this year focused on the research through to evaluation aspect of evidence-informed practice. It also touched on what it means to Service Providers when evidence is not yet available.

If you weren’t able to make the training but want to learn what was shared – check out the Participant Handout and video clips below from each portion of the day! And if you have any questions, or would like more information, be sure to be in touch!

The goals of the training day were to:
(1) familiarize Service Providers with the concept of evidence-informed practices, and specifically address the question of ‘what is evidence’?
(2) challenge Service Providers to reflect on how they may be able to incorporate more ‘evidence’ in their practices, and
(3) offer Services Providers an opportunity to become familiar and work with some of the latest ‘evidence’ released by the office of the Research Chair in Substance.

The expected outcomes from the training day were that Service Providers would:
(1) be able to articulate the importance of engaging in evidence-informed practices and have resources to draw upon to assist them with accessing and assessing current ‘evidence’,
(2) be familiar with key products from the office of the Research Chair in Substance Abuse and how they can use them in their work, including an evaluation workbook, and
(3) serve as a point of contact between their Health Region representative and the office of the Research Chair to both access research-related support and engage in the dissemination of the Chair’s research findings.

Dr. Colleen Anne Dell & Dr. Sharon Acoose  –  Power Point Slides & Video

Evidence-informed practice. Drawing on publications released by the office of the Research Chair, this opening session shared information and engaged participants in a discussion on evidence-informed practice. Four basic questions were addressed:  1. What is evidence-informed practice?  2. Whose evidence are we paying attention to?   3. How do we determine if the evidence is credible?   4. Where can we find credible evidence?
Dr. Colleen Anne Dell  –  Power Point Slides  & Video

Case in Point: Evaluating Child and Youth Mental Health & Addiction Services in Saskatchewan. This session reviewed the aims of the CAFAS & ASIST for agencies and what the client outcome indicators are revealing. Service Providers were encouraged to discuss how this evidence can inform their practice.
Dr. Randy Duncan and Berry Rohr – PowerPoint slides & Video

Case in Point: What’s Your Cap? Members of the What’s Your Cap? initiative shared how both research and evidence is guiding their nationally-recognized University of Saskatchewan campus binge drinking prevention initiative. Service Providers were asked to brainstorm how this evidence-informed practice can and cannot be applied to non-campus settings and groups.
Dani Robertson Boersma & Justine Shenher – PowerPoint slides  & Video

Canadian Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (CCENDU) Lunch
CCENDU Saskatchewan hosted a lunch to share information about the national and provincial CCENDU network and how easy and valuable it is for Service Providers to get involved.
Nicki Kirlin – PowerPoint slides & Video

First Steps First – A Community-Based Workbook for Evaluating Substance Abuse and Mental Health Programs in Saskatchewan. This session reviewed the basics of program evaluation and how the First Steps First Workbook can help easily fill some of the pitfalls Service Providers face with evaluation. Service Providers were encouraged to share the strengths and limitations of evaluation they have encountered and experiences people have had with the workbook.
Dr. Colleen Dell & Dr. Randy Duncan – PowerPoint slides  & Video

Study Scenario – Assessing the Evidence Three scenarios from the Office of the Research Chair were used to review what questions should be asked when determining whether to implement an ‘intervention’ that comes across their desk (From Stilettos to Moccasins: A Guide for Group Discussion Workshop), what evidence should be sought when developing an intervention (ExChanging Conversations: Aboriginal Culture in the Journey of Healing from Addictions), and what to do with an innovative practice where there is little evidence yet accumulated in the addictions field (PAWSitive Support: Applying Animal Assisted Therapy in the Treatment of Addictions & Mental Health). Service Providers shared their assessments with the group.
Dr. Barbara FornsslerPowerPoint slides & Video

Dr. Colleen Dell & Dr. Sharon Acoose – PowerPoint slides & Video



In collaboration with: Saskatchewan Inhalant Conference. Lunch Hour (12:30 – 1:30) Research Panel, June 27, 2012, Saskatoon Inn

Hosted by the Research Chair in Substance Abuse at the U of S, and in partnership with the Youth Solvent Addiction Committee, this panel presentation highlighted the work of Dr. Silvia Cruz from Cinvestav, Mexico on neurobiology, Carol Hopkins from the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation on policy, Debra Dell from YSAC on residential treatment, and Cynthia and Russell Bone on their personal experiences with solvent abuse.

This event was of interest to frontline workers, parents, researchers and communitities impacted by peoples’ misuse of inhalants, such as glue & propane.  A Research Resource Sheet highlighting the speakers’  work was made available.

A video of the event is available here.



In collaboration with: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse Issues of Substance Conference. Issues of Substance Pre-Conference Workshop, November 6, 2011, Vancouver Hyatt Regency Hotel

In recent years, digital storytelling has emerged as an innovative and interactive process that is being used to share personal or collective stories, and serve as a lasting record. This national networking workshop on women’s treatment provided participants with a hands-on opportunity to take part in the making of a digital narrative. The session aimed to inspire participants to continue to bring new and culturally relevant methods and knowledge to their addictions practices and programs, with specific focus paid to treatment and support designed and offered by and for First Nations, Inuit and Métis women with substance use concerns in Canada.

Co-sponsored by the University of Saskatchewan Research Chair in Substance Abuse, British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health (BCCEWH) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, this interactive session was led in part by Nette Wild, renowned director of the documentary Fix: The Story of an Addicted City and digital story-maker Colin Ford. It was  designed and facilitated by Nancy Poole of BCCEWH and Dr. Colleen Anne Dell. Collaborators and presenters included Dr. Deborah Chansonneuve of Minwaashin Lodge, Violet Naytowhow of the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region, Sharon Acoose of the First Nations University of Canada, Arlene Hache of the Centre for Northern Families, Jim Cincotta of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and Betty Head of the Cree Nation Tribal Health.

A summary report  from the workshop which highlights creative ideas on how to apply digital story telling in the addictions field is now available in English & French.


In collaboration with: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. Inaugral Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse Bill Deeks Lecture, September 22, 2010, St. Thomas Moore Auditorium, University of Saskatchewan.

The University of Saskatchewan’s Research Chair in Substance Abuse co-hosted a public lecture with the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. A Conversation for Change explored how best to create a culture of moderation among young adults by examining: young adults’ perceptions of alcohol, marketing and advertising of alcohol and its influence on drinking patterns, and strategies for drinking safely in social settings.  Award-winning journalist André Picard of The Globe and Mail—and one of Canada’s top public policy writers— launched the evening with a keynote presentation on the media’s role in normalizing heavy drinking as part of young adult culture.

Joining Mr. Picard as panellists from Saskatchewan were Martina Mathewson, a University of Saskatchewan sociology student who spoke about young adults’ perceptions of alcohol and Barbara Robinson, Program Head of the Addictions Counselling Program at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, who discussed strategies and approaches youth can apply for drinking safely in social settings.

The event can be viewed through an archived webcast.


     Preparing for the event







Mr. Bill Deeks










In collaboration with: Custody & Caring International Conference. Pre-Conference Workshop, September 30, 2009, Saskatoon Delta Bessborough Hotel

This one-day pre-conference workshop explored issues of substance use in the lives of Canadian women and how they heal.

The workshop objectives were:
1. To provide an understanding of why sex, gender and diversity must be accounted for in any attempt to understand problematic substance use in women’s lives
2. To facilitate dialogue on the intersections between identity, stigma and social location in women’s healing from substance abuse
3. To showcase and exchange ideas about research-based approaches to healing for women

This workshop was designed as a multidisciplinary educational opportunity for health care professionals, community/facility youth workers, early childhood educators, teachers, police, policy developers, and all other interested health care and service providers in addictions and mental health services, child welfare, education and the criminal justice system.

A 3 minute stop motion video, titled Sigma, Barriers, Change, was created by participants at the event. A variety of techniques and approaches are used to create stop motion video. Originally, the technique was used to create an animated sequence, such as how cartoons are made. More recent, video has been used to tell a short story. Central is that each frame is created and photographed (or digitized) independently. This video is part of the website to give voice to topics like healing from substance abuse.

Presenters Reflecting on the Day

Nancy Poole, BCCEWH; Alison Davis, Crossing Communities Art Project; Colleen Anne Dell, University of Saskatchewan; Sharon Acoose, First Nations University of Canada;  Tanya Tabobondung, Crossing Communities Art project;  Edith Rieger, Crossing Communities Art Project; Cindy Lee Sherban, RPC. Missing: Elder Rita Parenteau



In collaboration with nbthe Innovations in Qualitative Research Conference: Pre-Event Workshop – Art as Social Development, June 2, 2008, Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming Inc. (SCYAP) &
Pictures of Self-Harm Video Screening and Community Discussion, June 2, 2008,  University of Saskatchewan Kenderdine Art Gallery

The office of the Research Chair in Substance Abuse at the U of S, in collaboration with the 2008 Innovations in Qualitative Research Conference, Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming, Inc. (SCYAP), Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan, and the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre, organized a community dialogue with the Winnipeg-based Crossing Communities Art project on women, girls and self-harm.

The hands-on introductory workshop to the idea of art as social development was facilitated by the Crossing Communities Art Project and SCYAP, and focussed on art making and video as voice.

A public screening of Pictures of Self-Harm was held, followed by a community discussion. The 20 minute video courageously looks at women’s refections on their self-harm and society’s response to it.  It is an unblinking look at drug addictions, cutting, the sex trade/sexual exploitation, eating disorders and suicide.

The film was made by the Crossing Communities Art Project – an art for social change project where artists meet with women and youth who are on the margins of society and are often in prison; they create films and photos that shift participants from the margins into the centre of public dialogues and decision making.

Pictures of Self-Harm was produced out of a five year exploration by artists together with sociologists, prison guards, the Elizabeth Fry Society, medical practioners, and women who self-harm. The women in the project used video cameras to portray and reflect on their drug addictions, cutting, the sex trade/sexual exploitation, and eating disorders. They are the authors, interviewers and directors of the film. They give us an unblinking look at what is more often seen as shocking and more commonly responded to with denial. They pose direct questions to people on the street about public perceptions of self-harm and its place in our society.

In the first half of the film, Darcie talks courageously about her motivation for self-harm “I cut to cope not to kill” then tragically in mid-film she commits suicide. In the second half of the film, Tonya speaks to medical staff, service providers and government staff about her self-harm and ends her presentation with the statement that “she feels she is on an instalment plan for suicide” and “that she will die out there”.

The film portrays academics, correctional staff, nurses, psychiatrists, and counselors, discussing and looking for answers to what is happening and how to respond to this very difficult and what appears to be a primal response to deep-seated pain and trauma. A response that is reaching epidemic proportions in marginalized populations.

If art is a language and self-harm is a language, can one replace the other was the question that initiated the Pictures of Self-Harm project. Women who came to Crossing Communities art studios were saying that making art met some of the same needs as self-harm. This aligned with the findings of the report by Dr. Cathy Fillmore and Dr. Colleen Dell for the Elizabeth Fry Society titled, Prairie Women Violence and Self-Harm where criminalized women stated that one of the main reasons that they self-harmed was to communicate.

In 2002, Videographer Erika MacPherson started to document Crossing Communities’ participants talking about their self-harm, she trained the women in scriptwriting, camera work, directing, interviewing and editing. Pat Aylesworth who began as a workshop participant became a main videographer and completed the final edit together with Erika in 2007.

Pictures of Self-Harm is part of Crossing Communities’ ten year history of investigating art as social change, exploring how art intersects with sociology, medical practises, government, education, civic responsibility and prisons to engage a social response to the marginalization and increasing incarceration of women and children.