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December 2022

A major national knowledge transfer event was held last November in Banff. The gathering, organized by the Canadian Substance Abuse Research Initiative (CSARI), brought together all staff who have participated in the OPTIMA project, including researchers, clinicians and students. 

During the event, participants were invited to take part in the sharing of the project’s results as well as in a discussion regarding the aftereffects and, more importantly, the future steps offered by these results. Several students from the Didier Jutras-Aswad Laboratory who worked on OPTIMA participated in this meeting to present their respective projects. Among others, Hamzah Bakouni, Gabriel Bastien and Laurent Elkrief participated in the « My thesis in 3 minutes » contest.

What made this experience unique was the involvement of outstanding partners. Among others, the Alberta Alliance who Educates and Advocates Responsibly (AAWEAR), a harm reduction organization, offered access to a « wellness room ». This space could be used for training, peer support, or supplies for safer substance use. A collaborator group composed of multiple members of Indigenous Peoples had set up several activities, such as the Gathering of Indigenous Nations. This event allowed guests to interact with other participants from Indigenous Peoples, including the Indigenous Talking Circle, a ceremony for sharing and creating a safe environment. A conference on the Declaration of Principles for Indigenous Research was also held.

To learn more about the Canadian Substance Abuse Research Initiative (CSARI), click here.

To learn more about the OPTIMA Project, click here.