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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Community-driven alcohol policy in Canada's northern territories 1970–2008

To describe community-driven alcohol policy for 78, primarily First Nations, Métis and Inuit, communities in Canada's three northern territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) between 1970 and 2008. This is a first step to understanding the policy-oriented prevention system that has evolved in these areas over time.

Regulatory data were compiled from Part II of the Territorial Gazette Indices and the Revised Statutes and Regulations of each territory. Regulations were categorized as open, restricted, prohibited or other.

The number of communities with some form of regulation has increased steadily over time with half of the sample communities adopting some form of regulation between 1970 and 2008. The use of prohibition as a policy choice peaked in 1980 but has remained relatively steady since that time. There has been a steady increase in the adoption of other kinds of restrictions. Communities with regulations tend to have smaller and younger populations, a greater percentage of people with First Nations, Métis or Inuit origin and are more geographically isolated than those with no regulation.

This is the first time alcohol control policies have been compiled and described for the Canadian north. The dataset records the collective energies being put into community problem solving and provides a means to interpret the prevalence of health and social problems linked to alcohol use in these communities over time.

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