Harold Johnson" Changing the Alcohol Story" Award

A photo of Joan Johnson (left), Jarret Nelson (centre) and Tim Naimi (right) in the First People's House at UVic
Harold's wife Joan Johnson (left), Jarret Nelson (centre) and CISUR director Tim Naimi (right) at the First Peoples House.

Harold Johnson encouraged us to have the clarity and courage to “change the story” about alcohol, whether through individual awareness and change or through collective action. Harold knew and understood alcohol and its effects in many dimensions: through the communities in which he lived and worked, through the eyes of the criminal justice system in his role as crown prosecutor, through policy advocacy with the Northern Alcohol Strategy, and through his reflections as an acclaimed writer.

The Harold Johnson Award is for an individual who has worked tirelessly and fearlessly to change the story about alcohol in order to prevent or reduce its harmful consequences on people and populations.

In June 2023, we presented our inaugural Harold Johnson "Changing the Alcohol Story" Award to Jarret Nelson of Montreal Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. Jarret accepted the award at First Peoples House at the University of Victoria and spoke about his work rebuilding community through culture & connection to the land.

Our 2024 recipient: Yvonne Rigsby Jones

Yvonne is a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation who has dedicated 29 years of her professional life to leading Tsow-Tun Le Lum NNADAP Treatment Center, retiring in June 2015. Tsow-Tun Le Lum has long been acknowledged as an innovator and leader in treatment for First Nations people.

Currently Yvonne is working as Class Elder for Simon Fraser University in the Community Capacity Building Program. In May 2023 the program was awarded National Recognition in Continuing Studies in the category of Non-Credit Programming.

She is also a member of the Board of Governors MSW Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency. Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. As the first of its kind in North America, this two-year Master’s program is dedicated to preparing advanced social work professionals to develop capacity in Indigenous Communities. In addition, she is a team member of Indian Residential School Survivors Society Cultural Support as well as a member of the Survivors Circle, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

Join us June 5 at First Peoples House Ceremonial Hall.

Harold Johnson Award and Talk
10:30am-12pm PT Wednesday, June 5
First Peoples House Ceremonial Hall
University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, BC

Please joins us as we celebrate Yvonne and hear her speak about her work. Refreshments will be served. RSVP here by June 3.