Kim Meawasige was a mother, grandmother, mentor, inspiration, friend, innovative trainer and consultant on FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) intervention, prevention , and programming, and creator and promoter of FASD resources for urban Aboriginal people in Ontario. She was passionate about her culture as an Aboriginal woman and all her children walked with her on her life’s journey on Turtle Island. She was well known in Toronto for her significant work and dedication to all who were living and working in the FASD world. All who knew her enjoyed her funny and quick wit and appreciated her unrelenting advocacy on behalf of those affected by FASD, especially Aboriginal peoples living with the disability.
In May, 2011, Kim’s journey on Turtle Island came to an end. As one way to honour Kim, FASD ONE established the Kim Meawasige Memorial Lecture/Webinar as a fitting way to celebrate her life and honour all she contributed to addressing FASD in the many roles she performed throughout her life. Prior to her death, Kim worked at the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC) as a FASD trainer, educator and advocate and so it was remarkable and appropriate that FASD ONE was able to partner with the OFIFC in organizing and presenting the webinar.
The webinar titled FASD Effective Practices, An Aboriginal Perspective, was moderated by Holly Johnston NEAP FASD Project Coordinator, Northeastern Aboriginal Education Partnership Project, North Shore Tribal Council – Health Unit, Sudbury, Ontario and included a presentation by Joanne Jackson, FASD Awareness and Prevention Educator with the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Center in London, Ontario followed by a panel of caregivers and those themselves affected by FASD.
Special thanks to the FASD ONE Aboriginal Work Group and especially its Lead, Laura Spero, for organizing the webinar. A very special thank you as well to the staff of OFIFC for their hospitality and generosity in providing the perfect setting in which to hold the webinar.