Family Matters: Informing a family-based model of care

A diverse community-based, interdisciplinary research team, led by CAAN has come together to respond to this important community-identified research need. We will be focusing on Aboriginal families affected by HIV, recognizing that family within Aboriginal cultural contexts extends beyond biological relations. Family, for those within this study, therefore, may or may not always include the family of biological origin, and does include Aboriginal parents living with HIV, Aboriginal children living with and affected by HIV and others within the kinship circle. Our overall, long-term aim is to identify important features and provide Aboriginal-specific recommended solutions toward the development of, intervention program models that address and support all members of a family affected by HIV. The intervention design will be family/kinship-based and informed by Aboriginal culture.

Project specific objectives are to:

1. Identify the formal and informal types of HIV-related supports, services, policies and programs that are currently available for APHAs and their families through a national programmatic scan;

2. Explore the impact of HIV on the family, based upon the perspectives and experiences of different members of Aboriginal families affected by HIV through storytelling circles; and

3. Disseminate findings, collaborate and develop future research questions with Aboriginal families affected by HIV to identify priorities for Aboriginal culturally-informed, family-based intervention program options through a family and culture-based national gathering.

*For further information please contact the project coordinator, Carrielynn Lund at

CAAN FM CAB Posting Oct 8 2013 final


My name is DJ Danforth I live in Ottawa and I am a member of the bear clan from the Oneida Nation. Over the past 10 years I have been learning to use my culture as a way to heal, educate and grow to become better human beings. My hope for this project is that it brings families closer to our brothers and sisters who are living with and affected by HIV and AIDS to bring back the real sense of family healing and community support.



Hi, my name is Gloria Augustine. I am Mi’kmaq born and raised in Elsipogtog First Nations, NB. My educational background is in Social Work. In recent years I moved to Halifax NS to work for Healing our Nations as a Community Event Coordinator. I look forward to working with a committed team, meeting new people and sharing stories.




Hello, my name is Rakiya Larkin. I work, play and live on Coast Salish land. I am a member of the Namgis Nation from Alert Bay, BC and Blackfoot Nation from Brockett Alberta. Over the past 13 years I have been public speaking, and educating Indigenous people from all over Canada who are affected with and or living with HIV/AIDS. This project is extremely important me, and more importantly to the families who are affected by HIV. Gilaksla


Tansi, I am Ashley Norton. I live in Regina. I am a mother of two young sons. My mixed heritage includes Dene, Cree and Metis. Through my employment with CAAN as a Community Research Assistant, I hope to empower others. I look forward to the journey this project will take us on embracing my community to help heal each other through our stories of resilience.

Back to Current Research Projects

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