Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

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In 2002, the Union of Ontario Indians received funding from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to launch a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Program (FASD). The FASD team consists of four program developer / trainers, who provide service to the 41 member First Nations of the Anishinabek Nation.

The Role of the FASD Team

  • To increase the general level of awareness and knowledge of First Nation community members about FASD, and to foster community ownership and action around the issue. 
  • To equip First Nation front-line workers with the necessary tools to holistically address the issue of FASD at the community level.


Laurie McLeod-Shabogesic, FASD Coordinator
Laurie has been the FASD Program Coordinator for the Union of Ontario Indians since its launch in mid-2002.  Originally from M’Chigeeng, she is an Ojibwe member of the Nipissing First Nation, where she resides with her husband Perry and their three children.  Laurie has been working in the Health care field since 1992.  She is a former HIV/AIDS Coordinator for the Union of Ontario Indians and National Health Promotions Officer for the Assembly of First Nations.  In 1994, she coordinated and co-facilitated the National Roundtable on HIV/AIDS for Aboriginal People across Canada.  In 2002, she was invited to Malawi as a HIV/AIDS Specialist to assist in the development of a national education strategy for the African country.
Laurie is passionate about traditional arts and enjoys incorporating traditional teachings for a healthy pregnancy and conducting hands-on workshops such as the Creation of Ojibwe Moss Bags and Cradleboards, into First Nation FASD programming.

Laura Liberty, Lake Huron Regional Worker
Laura is the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Regional Program Worker for the Lake Huron region.  As an FASD Team member, Laura’s role involves traveling to the First Nation communities within the Lake Huron region to provide awareness and to educate the communities as well as the frontline workers on the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Chochi Knott, South East / South West Regional Worker
Chochi is the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Regional Worker for the Southeast & Southwest Region. She works out of the Union of Ontario Indians Satellite office in Curve Lake First Nation. She is an Ojibwe member from Curve Lake First Nation.

Chochi graduated from Trent University with an Honours BA in Cultural Studies and Sociology as well as receiving her Bachelor of Education.  Chochi started with the Union as an Education Programmer with AEI and has now been an FASD Worker since May 2009.

Her role in the FASD program includes participating in a number of committees and travelling to the First Nation communities within the Southeast and Southwest region to provide awareness and education to the communities specifically on the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy as well as tips for a healthy pregnancy.

Lynda Banning, Northern Superior Regional Worker
Lynda is the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Regional Worker for Northern Superior. She works out of the Union of Ontario Indians Satellite office on Fort William First Nation in Thunder Bay.

Lynda’s education background includes a Social Services Worker Diploma and an Honors Degree in Psychology. She also participated in training at the University of Washington to learn intervention strategies for working with women at risk of giving birth to a child affected by alcohol during pregnancy.

Lynda has worked in a variety of areas within Aboriginal organizations in Northwestern Ontario for the past 15 years. These include: counseling, prevention, health promotion, education, and research. She looks forward to receiving requests for information and training from the communities within the Northern Superior Region.


About our logo…

As Anishinabe people, we believe that our children are the heart of our nations and the carriers of our dreams and aspirations for the future.  Every child has a gift and is considered sacred.  It is our responsibility to nurture and protect them so that they may fulfill the path laid out for them by the Creator.

The vision for the FASD Program Logo came from our former SE/SW Regional Program Worker: Heather Ireland. She dedicated it to her first grandchild, whose journey along the eastern doorway inspired the dream.

Chi-miigwetch to Perry McLeod-Shabogesic who provided the professional drawing services for the logo and Priscilla Goulais who digitized it for our program.


What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)?

FASD is a term used to describe a wide range of symptoms and disabilities caused by the drinking of alcohol during pregnancy.


  •  When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, her unborn baby drinks alcohol too.
  • FASD can cause permanent mental and physical damage to a baby.
  • It is not safe to drink any amount of alcohol, at any time during pregnancy.

Alcohol can affect the development of an unborn baby as early as the first week of pregnancy.

What do we offer?

Our unique and culturally based programs are designed to help First Nation communities meet the needs of people whose lives are affected by FASD.

In addition to conducting free workshops, we are also available to assist First Nations in preparing for National FAS Day, participate on various committees, and other FASD related activities.


We provide specialized training and resources to First Nation caregivers, correctional officers, social service workers, educators and community members.


Anishinabek people living with alcohol related birth defects have a right to be treated with Zaagidwin (love) and Mnaadendomowin (respect). We are dedicated to helping our nations to develop the specialized services necessary to meet the needs of those living with FASD.


We offer pamphlets resources, videos and facts. We can also supply facilitators and displays for community events as well as training for various groups in First Nation communities.

Did you know that alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the leading cause of developmental disorders in Canada? 

Protect those you love – let them know that there is no safe time or safe amount of alcohol that can be consumed during pregnancy.


FASD Strategies Not Solutions



Healthy Eating Book
File: Healthy Eating Book.pdf

FASD Brochure
File: FASD Brochure.pdf

New Father Manual
File: NewFatherManual.pdf

Environmental Manual
File: Through the Eyes of a Child - FN Enviro Health.pdf

Breast Feeding Brochure
File: Breast Feeding Brochure 6 months.pdf

UOI FASD program order form
File: UOI FASD Program Order Form.pdf

Games and Activities - Children with Special Needs
File: Games and Activities for Children with Special Needs.pdf

Physical Activity for Children with Special Needs
File: Physical Activity for Children with Special Needs.pdf

File: FN_Enviro_Checklistfinalnov30book.pdf


For additional information about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or any information regarding the content of this page, please contact:

Banning, Lynda
FASD Regional worker

Knott, Chochi
FASD Regional Worker

Liberty, Laura
FASD Regional Worker

McLeod-Shabogesic, Laurie
FASD Coordinator

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