Nov 22, 2012


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Shannon van Leenen

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National Addictions Awareness Week shines light on newly accredited Bow Valley program

Students, faculty, and staff from Bow Valley College participated in the 15thannual Wellness Walk to kick-off National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW).

Dr. Bill DuPerron, Dean of the School of  Health, Justice, and Human Services, said this year's walk held special meaning for the College because it included students from the first-ever Aboriginal Addictions Services Counselling Certificate program.  

"For our students the Wellness Walk is more than a symbolic gesture," said DuPerron. "In the classroom they are learning about the value of Aboriginal culture, teachings, and ceremonies and how to integrate these aspects into the healing journey of addicted Aboriginal people, and that's really what this Walk is all about."

The Wellness Walk included representatives from various agencies and community groups that address addictions-related issues. By participating in the walk, students from the College were able to learn from and connect with these groups while also sharing what they have learned from their program.

"The program is comprehensive, apt and accurate from a First Nations point of view," said Garry Geddes, student. "I particularly enjoy the combination of traditional cultural elements that are combined with academia to inform and transform students into knowledgeable and competent counsellors."

Bow Valley College's Aboriginal Addictions Services Counselling Certificate program is a new program at the College and the first of its kind in western Canada. The program recently received accreditation from First Nations Wellness/Addictions Counsellor Certification Board, and has been recognised as setting a new benchmark for Aboriginal addictions counselling programing in Canada.

"We are proud to have the Bow Valley College Aboriginal Addictions Services Counselling Certificate program in our portfolio of accredited programs," said Alan Podsadowski, Executive Director of the First Nations Wellness/Addictions Counsellor Certification Board. "It is clear the program responds to the needs of First Nations employers, and that it provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective addictions practitioners."

National Addictions Awareness Week runs until November 25, 2012. For information visit:

To learn about the Bow Valley Aboriginal Addictions Services Counselling Certificate program visit:

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Bow Valley College - Calgary and region's only Comprehensive Community College - with more than 12,500 full- and part-time students, is a leader in business and health career training, adult upgrading, and English as a Second Language. BVC's Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES), workplace training for immigrant professionals, and employment services provide a wide range of services for businesses and professionals. Established in 1965, Bow Valley College is in the midst of a multi-million dollar expansion, creating state-of-the-art facilities and doubling its student capacity by 2013.

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