U of S researcher connecting addictions professionals through song: Step By Step released during national addictions awareness week

Following up on the successful single, From Stilettos to Moccasins, the University of Saskatchewan and the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation are pleased to release Step By Step during National Addictions Awareness Week, which runs from November 18 to 24.

Led by U of S faculty member Colleen Dell, in collaboration with Saskatchewan based musicians Lindsay 'Eekwol' Knight and Joseph Naytowhow, the song and music video share the blended story of the important role of treatment professionals and Aboriginal culture in the healing of First Nations, Inuit and Métis clients from addictions.

Guided by traditional Elder Campbell Papequash, more than 30 service providers and researchers gathered in early 2013 to develop the themes for the song and shoot footage for the video.

"Working with such compassionate and creative individuals in the addictions field was inspiring" says Eekwol. "It made my job of coming up with the song's lyrics natural."

The material used to intiate the song's creation included findings based on the From Stilettos to Moccasins research project that examined the role of cultural identity in the recovery of criminalized Aboriginal women from drug abuse as well as a provincial workshop by Dell's office that addresses the need for addictions treatment providers to be aware, informed and humble about the healing impacts of Aboriginal culture.

The song is a unique mix of Naytowhow's traditional Aboriginal style and rhythm alongside Knight's contemporary sound and hip-hop inspired approach.  Saskatoon service provider Jennifer Brockman notes, "the song is indeed a great way for service providers to connect with other service providers, but it is also to remind our clients that they are not alone on their healing journeys."

The music video is now available on YouTube at www.tinyurl.com/StepByStepSongWatch. You can download the song for free on Bandcamp, www.tinyurl.com/StepByStepSongDownload, and visit the website for more information at www.tinyurl.com/StepByStepSong.

The project was funded by the the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

For more information, please contact:

Nicki Kirlin

Office of the Research Chair in Substance Abuse
Department of Sociology & School of Public Health
University of Saskatchewan
306 966-6917
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