AHA Centre Governing Council

The AHA Centre Governing Council (GC) is a 15 member governing body that brings together leaders in Aboriginal HIV and AIDS community-based research from across Canada. The GC oversees and gives direction to the work of the AHA Centre. We meet quarterly and (once a year) in person. Elders Maggie Paul and Cliff Thomas have been working with AHA Centre staff and the Governing Council from the beginning to ensure that we engage in the work that we do in a good way. Our Elders contribute to Governing Council meetings and discussion, lead us in ceremony and hold us to the work that we do on behalf of Aboriginal peoples living with HIV and AIDS across Canada.

Governing Council Membership

The GC membership respects GIPA, MIPA and MEPA principles and demographically reflects cultural diversity, gender, and regional balance.

The following list of skills, attributes, abilities, knowledge and experience were considered during membership selection:

  • Expertise and lived experience in HIV and AIDS, Hep C, STBBI, Mental Health, Aging and related co-morbidities prevention, diagnosis, care, treatment and support issues; research ethics/law/human rights issues; and knowledge and/or front–line experiences with Aboriginal Peoples related to health;
  • Understanding of and adherence to the policies for research laid out in the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS2), with a particular focus on Chapter 9: Research Involving The First Nations, Inuit and Métis People of Canada;
  • Professional/technical expertise related specifically to sexual health; Indigenous, decolonizing and community-based research fields;
  • Knowledge and respect for the diversity of Aboriginal populations and the historical context of policy in Canada;
  • Commitment to collaboration and cooperation;
  • Ability to actively participate in discussions and effectively communicate ideas;
  • Belief that respect is a cornerstone of all discussions.


Purpose and Role of the Governing Council

The purpose and Role of the GC is:

  • To decide on key issues related to HIV and AIDS, Hep C, and STBBIs, with an additional emphasis on Mental Health, Aging and related co-morbity research in Aboriginal communities
  • To enhance the effectiveness of the AHA Centre’s endeavours by contributing to outcomes and by ensuring leadership to meet changing circumstances; and
  • To advise on key research and policy issues that are likely to improve the health of Aboriginal Peoples who are vulnerable to, or are affected by, HIV or AIDS, Hep C, and/or STBBIs, with additional attention to Mental Health, Aging and related co-morbidities.

AHA Governing Council Terms of Reference – October 2013

AHA Centre Elders:

Maggie Paul (St. Mary’s New Brunswick)

Cliff Thomas (Kentville, Ontario)

Governing Council Membership:


Anita Benoit: Women’s College Research Institute; Toronto, Ontario

Ken Clement: Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network; Vancouver BC

Randy Jackson: McMaster University; Hamilton Ontario

Candice Lys: Institute for Circumpolar Health; Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Kim McKay-McNabb: Independent Researcher and Private Practice Phychologist

Raye St Denys: Shining Mountains Living Community Services; Red Deer, Alberta


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