Thunderbird Partnership Foundation

Scope of Work

Thunderbird Partnership Foundation supports a variety of initiatives that advocate for First Nations culturally based substance use and mental wellness services. Thunderbird’s vision is to cultivate and empower relationships that connect us to our cultural strengths and identity within wholistic and healthy communities. Thunderbird is a leading authority on Indigenous addictions and mental wellness research. We offer a variety of resources (guidebooks, toolkits, fact sheets, Thunderbird Wellness app, training curriculum) to support First Nations in their community planning. We offer training (self-directed and virtual) grounded in Indigenous Knowledge to National Native Alcohol & Drug Addiction Program (NNADAP) and National Youth Solvent Abuse Program (NYSAP) treatment centre workers and First Nations community wellness workers, to support special skills and knowledge needed to work effectively with First Nations communities.

In 2015 the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation (NNAPF) changed its name to The Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, a division of NNAPF Inc.  Earlier on, in 2000, NNAPF completed a document entitled National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) Renewal Framework. This framework set out the purpose, values and principles to guide a renewal of the capacity-building process for NNADAP. It also identified the ends and means to strengthen the program. The Renewal framework was the primary reference guide for NNAPF’s coordinated, integrated approach to program renewal.The National Review made 37 recommendations, which fall into seven broad categories of enabling functions, described in the column below. Many of these have been acted upon by Thunderbird Partnership Foundation.


To organize a national network of addictions programs and services through which the knowledge, experience and skills of its members can be universally accessed by clients, workers, managers, policymakers and partners; to ensure that community prevention and Treatment Centre personnel do not function in isolation from their colleagues; and, to develop a partnership between the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation, the Regional Addictions Partnership Committees and FNIHB.

Research & Development

To support the effective operation and development of community prevention and Treatment Centre operations through pure and applied research with a focus on identifying individual, family and community need and improving programs and services.

Best Practices

To identify the best practices within the extensive base experience of community prevention programs and treatment centres; to capitalize on these experiences by documenting success and providing “hands-on” exposure for addictions personnel to methods and practices that are effective; and, to establish an accreditation process for community prevention and treatment centre programs.


To establish a networked training system to support the development of the human resources required to ensure effective and efficient addictions services for Indigenous people regardless of where they live; and, to establish a national certification program for community prevention and treatment centre personnel.


To develop and implement a national program of communications, using state-of-art methods and technologies that provides timely information related to the addictions field to clients, workers, managers, policymakers and partners within the First Nations and Inuit Addictions network; and, to ensure communications support to Regional Addictions Partnership Committees.


To establish a funding base that supports an effective and efficient system of programs and services delivered by qualified personnel to Indigenous people regardless of where they live in Canada (including operational and capital requirements).

Continuum of Care

To develop a continuum of care within which services would be available to all Indigenous people wherever they live in Canada including primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention and intervention community services; community development programs; and a complete range of treatment services (detoxification, “first and second stage” treatment programs, specialized treatment services).