By Monique Fong

National Aboriginal Women’s Leadership Project

Tansi/greetings my name is Monique Fong, currently I am the Acting Women’s Leadership Coordinator.   I have been involved with this project since the beginning.  Years ago, another important Women’s advocate (the late Jocelyn Paul) and I spoke about having a project with CAAN that could speak to Women’s issues around HIV and AIDS.  So along with the late Laverne Monett, a CAAN AGM discussion was held to ask for dedicated funding for a conference and the for continued support by CAAN to fund this position.  This project has grown and we were even successful in securing funding to create the Environments of Nurturing Safety (EONS): Aboriginal Women In Canada – Five Year Strategy on HIV/AIDS (2010 – 2015).   This Strategy helps give direction to the work that is important to Aboriginal women across the country.  The Strategy is sun-setting this year, so an important task I have right now is to develop an EONS Renewal questionnaire. It will be available on-line for Aboriginal Women to identify what matters to them, what issues are they facing and possible ways to address those concerns. The information we gather will assist us in the development of EONS II. In addition to HIV and AIDS, EONS II will also speak to CAANs expanded mandate of HCV, STBBIs, TB, Mental Health, aging and related co-morbidity issues. Please keep an eye out on the CAAN Facebook page and/or the CAAN Website for the link to the on-line questionnaire.  For those who don’t have access to the internet, the questionnaire can be mailed out.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Doris Peltier for all her hard work.  Even though Doris has now moved to a new position as the Visioning Health National Coordinator, we will still be working together during this transition to her exciting initiative focusing on research.  Doris continues to work passionately to bring forth the issues that we as Aboriginal Women face and of course she will continue to advocate for women in her new role.  She is an amazing person who has become a mentor to many other women – not only in Canada but to Indigenous Women all over the world.

CAAN is currently under construction. Please check back soon for updates.