By Merv Thomas

Director of National Programs and Communications Update

As we make our final preparations for the Annual General Meeting we want to acknowledge all of our volunteers that sit on our many national committees for the excellent service they provide to the HIV and AIDS movement in Canada. We cannot do our work without your guidance and valuable input into the work that we do, thank you.

With all of our year end reports in, the annual report and the summer newsletters complete we want to express a sigh of relief!

Skills Building and Annual General Meeting 2016

This year the event is being held at the Omni Hotel in Montreal, Quebec. We hope that those who are attending the Skills Building and Annual General Meeting are able to attend the many skills building sessions that are being presented. We have a jam packed week with the APHA Caucus meeting for the first two days and then the Skills Building presentations on Thursday and Friday morning. We are pleased to note that there will be several individuals honored at the Awards Ceremony and Feast on Thursday evening. The Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday from 12 – 4 pm.

Promising Practices documentary… is still being worked on and is scheduled for release at the International AIDS Conference in Durban South Africa. This 22 minute documentary highlights the response to the HIV and AIDS issues in rural reserves in Saskatchewan, namely Sturgeon Lake First Nations, and Ahtahkakoop. The film also features several APHAs and they share their stories with honesty and hope. They inspire us with their stories of resilience in the face of the stigma and discrimination which is still a major concern in our communities. Culture and traditions are highlighted as a beacon of hope. The Home Fire still burns to welcome us back home.

CAAN and international Indigenous Working Group on HIV and AIDS (IIWGHA) website updates

Both the main CAAN website as well as the IIWGHA websites are both being updated. IIWGHA is almost ready to go live now; however, the CAAN website will not be ready until the end of summer. Donna and Bill Tenant are assisting us in updating these websites. We have heard your feedback and will be streamlining these websites and hopefully make them more user friendly.

Summer Events Planned

This year we will be having events at the National Aboriginal Day on June 21st, at Trout Lake where CAAN will have a booth. Then in early August CAAN will have a float at the Vancouver Pride Parade. To volunteer on any of these activities please contact Rodney Little Mustache at 604-266-7616.

Invitation to membership and others to submit to our newsletter

We do encourage anyone to submit a piece to our newsletter articles, please send to attention Merv Thomas at the CAAN offices located at 6520 Salish Drive Vancouver, BC V6N 2C7.

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