The original iteration of Listening to One Another to Grow Strong (LTOA) was culturally adapted from a program developed in the United States in 1982, called Strengthening Families (SF). The Strengthening Families program was designed to reduce youth substance abuse and problematic behaviour. In the years since its inception, several countries (including Canada, England and Spain) have implemented Strengthening Families and reported possitive results in their evaluations of the program's effectiveness.
In 1996, a team led by Dr. Les Whitbeck at the University of Lincoln, Nebraska, developed an Anishinabe adaptation of the program (USA). Participants’ retention rates, family communication and parenting skills improved, and, compared to a control group, younger youth delayed their first instance of alcohol consumption. For more results, please click on the link below. The intervention was also adapted for other Indigenous communities in Lakota, Navajo, and Pueblo nations).
In 2011, the Public Health Agency of Canada funded the development of a third generation adaptation of the Strenghening Families Program. This program, called Biizindadedah, or Listening to One Another to Grow Strong in English, was implementated in 4 Anishinabe communities from Western Ontario and Eastern Manitoba.
Since 2011, First Nations from four Indigenous peoples have partnered with our project and adapted and implemented the program in Canada: a Secwepemc First Nation in Splatsin, BC; Swampy Cree First Nations in northern Manitoba; Innu First Nations in Mashteuiatsh, QC; and a Mi’kmaq First Nation from Gesgapegiag, QC.
Melissa Walls describes the origins of the LTOA program: