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Interlake-Eastern RHA to host premiere screening of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) documentary

Interlake-Eastern RHA’s FASD program team is partnering with the Manitoba FASD Coalition Inc. and the Manitoba FASD Family Network to host the premiere screening of “Learning the Dance: Community Making a Difference.” The video shares the story of how two schools have focused on relationships, built upon strengths and reframed behaviors in order to support two students with FASD to find success and a sense of belonging within the school community.

The documentary was created by Looking After Each Other: A Dignity Promotion Project, a diverse group of Manitobans who have come together to talk about the relationship between stigma and FASD. Their vision is a province where people with FASD and women who have used alcohol during pregnancy are fully accepted and their dignity is promoted. “Learning the Dance” is one of the newest in a series of the group’s documentaries.

One of the youths and schools featured in the documentary are from the Interlake-Eastern region.  The family and school have been working closely with our regional FASD programs.  According to Interlake-Eastern RHA’s FASD diagnostic coordinator, Sherisse Picklyk Dear, this family’s story is a journey that goes back several years and has included many community colleagues.

“We are so proud to have a school and family featured in this documentary that comes from one of our Interlake-Eastern RHA communities. I began working with one of the moms featured in the documentary several years ago.  Together we partnered with the school and other services in order to create the best home and school experience for this youth.  It has always been a team effort!  In recent years, this mom began utilizing services from the Manitoba key worker program with Shannon Foster.  Shannon, who is also featured in the documentary, works intensely with the school, mom and the youth, to build upon his strengths.”

Interlake-Eastern RHA’s public health team manager, Connie Nixon, who manages FASD programs in the region, says that tour program staff work hard to establish good relationships with families and to support them through their sometimes challenging journeys.  A family’s journey may range from initial assessment and diagnosis to needing  education and in-home support. 

“We provide services to caregivers who may need specific supports in order to parent a child who is impacted by FASD. Through the Manitoba Key Worker program, established in 2013, clinicians like Shannon Foster provide intensive caregiver support for children and youth who have prenatal alcohol exposure or have FASD.  They work with families and collaborate with schools to create a greater understanding of the child or youth’s specific needs and to build upon their strengths” says Nixon.  “This documentary highlights the great partnership we have established with the school.  Lord Selkirk School Division has always embraced collaboration with our FASD programs and initiatives and we are so thankful to have that relationship”.

Interlake-Eastern RHA key worker, Shannon Foster, says that it has been a pleasure to work with this mom and her son and to connect closely with the school featured in the documentary. 

“It is because of this collaboration that this youth has achieved success at school.  I am so proud of the hard work and care that this family and their supports have shown.  This documentary focuses on how building understanding relationships with our kids can make a huge difference in their self-esteem and success at school”. 

The documentary premiere is open to the public will be screened at Selkirk Regional Health Centre on Tuesday, October 16th at 6:30 p.m. A panel discussion will follow the screening with Interlake-Eastern RHA staff and members of the family and school staff featured in the video.

To learn more about this story or the regional FASD programs, please contact Shannon Foster (Manitoba FASD key worker) at or 785-7548 or Sherisse Picklyk Dear (FASD diagnostic coordinator) at or 785-7547.  For more information, visit the IERHA website at under Care in Your Community / FASD or prenatal exposure to alcohol.


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