CAAN Launches National Aboriginal Hepatitis C Awareness Campaign in Ottawa


Ottawa, ON (April 22, 2015) – The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and Hepatitis Services, BC Centre for Disease Control have partnered to launch a month long National Aboriginal Hepatitis C Awareness Campaign. The launch event will be co-hosted by Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada on May 1st from 11am to 2pm in the Parliament Block in Ottawa. Additional events will be held in Halifax, Vancouver, Red Deer, Saskatoon, and Opaskwayas First Nations in Manitoba.

The nationwide events are designed to ensure the rights of Aboriginal People, (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) to access and benefit from Hepatitis C (HCV) prevention education and awareness, as well as related care, treatment and support to maintain a quality of life in a culturally appropriate manner. “Aboriginal people need to know the risks of Hepatitis C, to understand that treatment is available and that Hepatitis C can be cured”, said Ken Clement, CEO of the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network.  “We must also ensure that stigma and discrimination do not compound the problem. ” The higher rates of Hepatitis C and other diseases among Aboriginal people are directly linked to the inequality of health services.  Poor health, poverty, low education, limited housing, high unemployment and sanitation problems are important factors that contribute to the spread of Hepatitis C infections. Factors that increase the risk of Hepatitis C infections also include the regular use of injection drugs and other high-risk activities at an early age. Research indicates that infection rates for Hepatitis C are higher among Aboriginal people (1% to 18%) compared to other the Canadians (0.5% to 2%). The pattern of infections and the various factors that place Aboriginal people at risk are different from other Canadians so Hepatitis C prevention education and health promotion should be different as well. These events will increase participation, collaboration and meaningful engagement and awareness of prevention, education, care, treatment and support regarding Hepatitis C.

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About CAAN.
CAAN provides a National forum for Aboriginal Peoples to wholistically address HIV and AIDS, HCV, STBBIs, TB, Mental Health, aging and related co-morbidity issues; promotes a Social Determinants of Health Framework through advocacy; and provides accurate and up to date resources on these issues in a culturally relevant manner for Aboriginal Peoples wherever they reside.

About Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada,
Pauktuutit fosters greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women, advocates for equality and social improvements, and encourages their participation in the community, regional and national life of Canada. Pauktuutit leads and supports Inuit women in Canada in policy development and community projects in all areas of interest to them for the social, cultural, political and economic betterment of the women, their families and communities.

About BC Centre for Disease Control – Hepatitis C Services
BC Hepatitis Services, through the Attendance for Hepatitis C Care Project, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, works nationally to collaboratively develop and adapt educational resources for Aboriginal and other populations affected by hepatitis C to reduce knowledge gaps, particularly among patients and primary care and social support providers. These resources can be used to increase knowledge and awareness of hepatitis C, and to help those with hepatitis C increase their understanding of the disease, how to manage it and get treatment. The project team works with a national volunteer network whose members include those affected by hepatitis C (including HIV/HCV co-infection), health and social care providers and other community volunteers.


May 1, 2015: Launch
Location: Parliament Block, Ottawa, ON
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Co-hosted by Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada

May 11, 2015
Location: Community Y 2269 Gottigen Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Co-hosted by Healing Our Nations

May 19, 2015
Location: Sheraton Red Deer Hotel 3310 50th Avenue, Red Deer AB
Time: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Co-hosted by CAAN and Shining Mountains

May 31, 2015   
Location:  Britannia Community Centre 1661 Napier Street Vancouver, BC
Time: 12:00-4:00pm
Co-hosted by BC Centre for Disease Control, World Hepatitis Day Vancouver Planning Committee, First Nation Health Authority, HepCBC Hepatitis C Education & Prevention Society, Pacific Hepatitis C Network, Lower Mainland Purpose Society for Youth & Families, and S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

June 6, 2015 Aboriginal Women’s Health Awareness – ‘Celebrating You’
Location: Station 20, 1120 20th Street West Saskatoon, SK
Time:  3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Co-hosted by Saskatoon Infectious Disease Care Network (SIDCN) and AIDS Saskatoon

For more information on Aboriginal Hepatitis C Awareness:

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