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What is the NNAPF Community Emergency Response Program (CERP)
In 2000, First Nations and Inuit Branch (FNIIHB) of Health Canada asked NNAPF Inc. to develop and, if appropriate, manage and deliver a formal program response as a means to filling present gaps in current responses to child and youth substance abuse crises in First Nations and Inuit communities.
The NNAPF Board agreed and initiated an extensive and successful First Nations and Inuit pan-Canadian, multi level partnership-building and consultation process, which culminated in a Community Emergency Response Program Model. Funding for this promising and innovative initiative was cut in FY 2003-2004.
Although NNAPF Community Emergency Response Program model is to remain as a draft, the following is offered as a record of NNAPF’s significant work in this important area.
Description of the NNAPF Community Emergency Response Program (CERP)
“Conceptually and practically CERP is grounded in a community development approach; it is about the renewal of traditional strengths and approaches and their adaptation to contemporary needs.”
CERP stand for Community Emergency Response Program. The need for a Community Emergency Response Program was spurred at the federal level by the ongoing number of crisis situations that many First Nations and Inuit communities face, in terms of attempted and completed suicides as well as other challenges such as those found with solvent Abuse.
CERP was intended to provide human expertise and financial resources to assist First Nations and Inuit families and communities with their remedial and capacity-building efforts intended to prevent, intervene on an emergency basis, protect and permanently divert their children and youth from abusing mood and behaviour modifying substances, and from creating and actively participating in peer group formations that actively engage in substance abuse
The CERP program developed by NNAPF confirmed that communities need to be in charge of the response, utilizing their expertise and their capacity to develop their strengths. It also strongly underlined the practical challenge communities in crisis have to work on: re-establishing traditional, culturally-based informal and formal social support networks, in order to progress from emergencies to longer term healing.