I have been involved with CAAN for many years; my roles have changed over those years. First as the Atlantic Representative on the Board of Directors, I held that position for many years, learning and respecting all the hard work of our National Organization. At that time I was the Executive Director of Healing Our Nations, it was important for me to be mentored by many more experienced EDs, and community members. As a Board member, I learned the ins and outs of developing and implementing policy. The knowledge around the table from many of the leaders of the Aboriginal AIDS Movement was sometimes intimidating but so worth the time. While at that table, I was asked why it was important to be there, I realized that we need more women speaking up for Aboriginal Women; Not that it wasn’t happening prior to me sitting at the table because we have had many women sit on the CAAN Board of Directors, but I wanted to share my experience and my voice.
I have taken this position over in the fall of last year; I have been working with this project since its creation. While a Board of Director the late Jocelyn Paul and Laverne Monette both advocated for the support of our Aboriginal Women. This request was supported by the board; and CAAN hired the Women’s Coordinator.
The first few months of this project I spent some time with Doris for an update and file transfer for this position. Doris is involved with a lot of work with various committees and we are still working out the committee details. The good thing is that we have not lost Doris to another agency; she is continuing to share her knowledge and experience while working with the CAAN Research and Policy Unit. Doris and Tracey Prentice are working on the Visioning Health II grant, so lucky to have their knowledge within our agency.
Strong Women Bear Journey
One of the committee’s that I recently been invited to attend is called the Strong Women Bear Journey (formerly named the Aboriginal Women Research Initiative). This is a network of Women’s groups, researchers, community members, and advocates, service providers, and organization who work together to offer support for Aboriginal Women who are positive. CAAN has participated in and is a member of the Strong Women Bear Journey.
Environments of Nurturing Safety (EONS) II
Another important task that I have developed is the Environments of Nurturing Safety II (EONS II) survey. This survey will help us as we prepare to renew the EONS II document. This survey has been shared with all the Board, staff members and community members. If you have received the survey via email please keep sharing the document the more people that fill it in the better. If you haven’t received the EONS II survey please contact me and I will send you the link. It will stay on for another 2 weeks, then the task of analyzing the data and being to pull together a rough draft of the EONS II document.
Social media is a becoming a very convenient way to promote our work. It is a way to communicate with CAAN members. I would support you in sharing any of your stories, events and exciting work regarding Aboriginal Women. CAAN support the way we use Facebook and Twitter, even though I still need a little help from my children when using twitter – I guess a form of knowledge sharing. If you have events and/or other exciting work that your agency is doing to promote Aboriginal Women please share it on CAAN’s Facebook Page.
We also, worked with Krista Shore who agreed to be on the International Women’s Day poster, that poster was highlighted on the CAAN Facebook page.
STBBI Framework Task Force
One the committees I sit on for CAAN is the STBBI Framework Task Force. This group is in made up of mainly Health Canada representatives, along with some of the National stakeholders like CAAN, and AFN.
“ the framework provides our blueprint for working towards the achievement of the UNAIDS targets known as 90-90-90 in on-reserve First Nations communities. It proposes a coordinated response that focuses on the most affected populations, acknowledging the importance of social determinants of health. The Framework seeks to establish an integrated care model to achieve seamless and continuous care, aligned with other federal and provincial strategies, as well as communities’ needs and readiness based on a holistic view of the cycle of life. This framework calls on us to prioritize our efforts so that they are informed by the latest evidence.”
This continues to be a work in progress, stay tuned.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at 902 433 0900.