Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week 2014 reaches out to include Aboriginal People Living HIV and AIDS (APHAs), national Aboriginal organizations, government partners, health care providers,and community leaders to focus on how Aboriginal people can continue to work together to reach the UNAIDS 2011-2015 goal of: Getting to Zero. Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths.
While Worlds AIDS Day reminds us that progress has been made in finding solutions and moving towards zero, the improvements amongst Aboriginal communities lag far behind the rest of the population. First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people continue to respond to HIV and AIDS with community-based initiatives, but are still experiencing epidemic proportions 3.5 times higher than other Canadians. The HIV and AIDS rates among Saskatchewan Aboriginal people is among the highest in the world and, until this year, there has been no Indigenous strategy to address it.
"Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week will celebrate our successes so far and explore how we can get to zero by introducing culturally specific approaches that will address the legacy of residential schools, poverty and racism,” stated CEO of CAAN, Ken Clement. "It is critical that Aboriginal people feel comfortable discussing the risks and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities take a non-judgmental approach to testing and cultural care, treatment and support."
The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) and All Nations Hope Network (ANHN) will co-host the Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week Launch Event on December 1, 2014 in Regina, SK. National Aboriginal leadership will be present to support the launch and the release of the Saskatchewan Indigenous Strategy on HIV and AIDS. The Public Health Agency of Canada, through its Enhancement Program in Saskatchewan, will launch the projects selected to implement the strategy. In the following days, there will be workshops across the country (Montreal, Ottawa, New Credit First Nations, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver) to continue discussions on Aboriginal HIV and AIDS issues in Canada Dec 2 –6, 2014.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
November 30 Pre-event, Halifax, NS
Family Fun Day
Holiday Inn Harbourview, Dartmouth, NS
Time: 1:00 – 4:00pm
Contact: Cheyenne Gates 902-492-4255 or 1-800-565-4255 or
Join us as we kick off Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week with our Family Fun Day! Lots of entertainment for the whole family including refreshments, safe tattooing with real tattoo demonstration, crafts, Bingo and other games with prize – and a door prize of a 40” flat screen TV. This as a free event open to the public.
Dec 1 – Regina, SK: Ramada Plaza Hotel
Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week 2012 Launch Event
Ramada Plaza, 1818 Victoria Avenue, Regina
Time: 10am – 2pm
Contact: 604-266-7616 or
The day begins at 10:00 am with a traditional Grand Entry. Chief Bruce Morin and Lorette Dreaver, from Big River First Nation will give the keynote address. Big River First Nation is committed to the development of self-government and the capacity to manage its own affairs, taking on an ever-increasing number of programs and work with different funding agencies to better service the community. Many of national and provincial Indigenous leaders and many national and provincial civic leaders will speak at the event. Most importantly, the Public Health Agency of Canada, through its Enhancement Program in Saskatchewan, will launch the projects selected to implement the first ever Saskatchewan Indigenous Strategy on HIV and AIDS.
Dec 2 – New Credit, ON Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations
Youth Event - Stigma and Shame Stop With Us
659 New Credit Road at Lloyd S. King Elementary Gym, Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation
Time: 6pm – 9pm
Join the youth of Mississaugas of New Credit and Six Nations for a joint interactive evening event of how stigma and shame can stop with our generation and what we can do to take action during Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week. We'll be beading condoms, watching short films, making buttons, playing games, and talking about ways to keep each other and our communities safe. Free event with food and door prizes. All are welcome!
Dec 3 – Ottawa, ON: Parliament Hill
Parliamentary Dining Room, 6th floor of Centre Block at Parliament Hill, Ottawa, ON
Time: 7:30 am - 8:45 am EST
RSVP: Kate Alexander 613-233.7440 ext 110 or
The public and members of Parliament are invited to the Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week breakfast session to learn more about the HIV and AIDS issues facing Aboriginal people in Canada. The breakfast will commence with opening prayers, Inuit singers, and opening remarks from Ken Clement – CAAN CEO, Marnie Davidson – ICAD Chair of Board of Directors, and an HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis (HAT) Caucus representative.
Dec 3 – Winnipeg, MB Nine Circles
Community Forum: Honouring Our Holistic Caregivers
Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, 185 Young Street, Winnipeg
Time: 11:30am – 3:00pm
Contact: Laverne Gervais – 204-232-1935 or Carol Moar – 204-997-5035
In recognition of Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week, Ka Ni Kanichihk is working in collaboration with the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) and Two Spirited People of Manitoba to host a traditional gathering including a pipe ceremony, an honouring of our holistic caregiver ceremony, and a Feast. We will learn and talk about HIV and AIDS in our community, and acknowledge the ongoing vital work and responsiveness of members of our community in addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS in our community.
Dec 4 – Montreal, QC Women’s Event
Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week: Women and Girls
Centre St. Pierre, 1212 Panet, Montreal, Quebec
Contact: Doris Peltier (
) or Carrie Martin (
The occasion will begin with a keynote address by Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs (star in Rhymes for Young Ghouls) who will address the theme of the Getting to Zero campaign and the impacts of HIV on Aboriginal women and girls. This will be followed by a panel of diverse speakers discussing HIV testing, the implications of the new laws on Aboriginal women in the sex trade, and youth HIV prevention work. The presentations will be followed by a catered lunch and a sharing circle for participants to reflect on the day’s events and offer insight into ways in which we can Get to Zero.
Dec 5 – Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Native Health
Men’s Health and Wellness – Dudes Club
Chief Simon Baker Room, 1607 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Contact: 604-266-7616 or
Lou Demerais will share the successful program, "Dudes Club" that links Aboriginal men to events and activities that focus on the spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, along with social aspects of wellness, while simultaneously putting them putting them in touch with health care professionals and other support services, we hope to instill a sense of solidarity and empowerment within the community. Dudes club tries to follow the traditional aboriginal model of sharing wisdom and knowledge around the feasting table. A panel of Aboriginal Men from the Dude’s Club will share their lived experiences CAAN’s Chief Executive Officer, Ken Clement, will deliver a message.
Dec 6 – Toronto, ON Toronto Birth Centre
Think Globally - Act Locally: Responding to HIV among Indigenous Peoples
Toronto Birth Centre - 525 Dundas Street West (at Parliament St.) Toronto
Time: 1pm – 4:30pm
Contact: Trevor Stratton, 416.999.3250 or
This event features a focus on a human rights approach to Indigenous peoples and HIV internationally and at home. Focused on multiple disciplines for students and professionals, the event will open with a keynote speaker, a multidisciplinary panel on the overlapping medical and legal issues framing the response to HIV and Indigenous communities as well as an interactive talk show format with students and seasoned experts answering questions and exploring the issues discussed with the audience. Throughout the afternoon, participants will discuss the scope of Indigenous human rights, health work or study they do locally and the expanding vision of promoting Indigenous specific approaches to the social determinants of health globally to address the continuing legacy of colonization and neo-colonialism.
About CAAN. www.caan.ca
The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) is a not-for-profit coalition of individuals and organizations which provides leadership, support and advocacy for Aboriginal individuals living with and affected by HIV and AIDS, regardless of where they reside. Their philosophy is that all Aboriginal Peoples deserve the right to protect themselves against infectious disease and thrives on providing the Aboriginal community with accurate and current information about HIV including risks of contracting the virus, issues of care and treatment, and support for families and those living with the disease.