Along with hundreds of community members, we are heartbroken to hear of the sudden passing of Alexandra de Kiewit. Alexandra was central to harm reduction and drug user advocacy not only in Quebec, but across Turtle Island and internationally.
Alexandra, a co-founder and Board of Directors member of the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs, was an active member of the National Safer Supply Community of Practice. We benefited from her voice on multiple committees and working groups including "Action for Safer Supply," a working group composed exclusively of people who use drugs whose goal is to make safer supply a reality for all drug users across the country.
Along with her keen expertise and deep knowledge, Alexandra poured her inspiring personality and unstoppable activism into everything she did. She taught many people many things.
She saw deeply rooted intersections between criminalized communities and worked ceaselessly to promote the liberation of all people – sex workers, people who use drugs, people living with HIV and/or Hepatitis C, people living with disabilities, and other marginalized people. For her, the decriminalization of sex work and drugs – as well as the establishment of an accessible regulated drug supply – was crucial to liberation and the realization of fundamental human rights for everyone.
Alexandra taught us compassion, community organizing, group facilitation, radical drug user advocacy, collective solidarity, movement building, and conflict resolution. Most of all, she taught us about love and what it means to love all people – in all their raw, beautiful, human, and very powerful forms.
We are certainly not alone in this grief. Alexandra's impact will be felt far and wide for decades to come. We will continue our collective work in her honour and memory. Our sincere condolences to her family, friends, loved ones, and extended community. We stand together in grief and in solidarity with all those affected by this immense loss. May she rest in power.
In love and in rage,
Alexandra Holtom, for the National Safer Supply Community of Practice