CAAN Projects and Communications Update

By Merv Thomas, Director National Programs/Communications This has been an exciting summer for CAAN with many activities and events occurring and the beginning of implementation of the agencies expanded mandate. Wholistic Model through the lens of HIV Early this fiscal year, CAAN staff and steering committee members began the discussions of what the wholistic model will look like and the result of this work can be found below. This model was presented to the membership at the CAAN Annual Skills Building and Annual General Meeting which was held in Toronto from July 1st – the 4th. To briefly describe this model we start with the individual and HIV in the centre of the Cree Medicine Wheel, encompassing the four aspects of the human being, which includes the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. The model envisions that all Aboriginal people including those who are living with HIV (APHAs), are living healthy balanced lifestyles. It also envisions that family members and communities are whole and they are also healthy and balanced. Around this Medicine Wheel, are the seven teachings from the Ojibway Peoples; love, wisdom, truth, honesty, courage, respect and humility. These teachings guide those who are working within Aboriginal communities and work will be implemented utilizing these teachings. After this we add other issues such as Hepatitis C, Mental Health, Aging, Tuberculosis, and Sexually Transmitted Blood Borne infections. How the model explains the plans to educate people on each of these issues is through public awareness campaigns, and by creating culturally appropriate messaging and teachings. It also needs to include encouraging people to get tested and to receive culturally appropriate care, treatment and support. Research and evaluation will also play a role in the best way to support continuous improvement of all work that is currently being conducted to Aboriginal communities. CAAN has always had steering and advisory committees to guide the work. And we will continue to utilize experts within all these fields to assist in the development and implementation of the campaigns. And of course the outer wheel, demonstrates that CAAN will need all of its current and new partners to continue to move forward of our ultimate goal of Getting to Zero!

Filed Under: Summer 2014 Newsletter

About the Author: Brought to you by the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN).

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