Merv Thomas

CAAN produced and released the first of two planned twenty-two (22) minute documentaries entitled Promising Practices in Indigenous Communities in Saskatchewan. The film was initially pre-screened in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in July, 2016 and later screened at the International AIDS Conference in Durban South Africa in July 2016.  It is currently being marketed to local, regional, and national audiences within Canada, such as APTN, CBC, Global and mainstream media.  This first documentary highlights the Indigenous communities in rural and urban Saskatchewan that are addressing HIV and AIDS issues in a holistic manner.  The second documentary is currently in the works and will be released for Hepatitis C Awareness Month in May 2017.

Promising Practices is a story of hope and challenges the stigma of Aboriginal People Living with HIV AIDS (APHAs) through the telling their stories in their own words, it tells the story of how families are demonstrating their love and support for loved ones living with HIV and it tells the story of how Indigenous communities are addressing HIV AIDS issues.  These stories demonstrate how communities are taking control over their own their health; and how they are addressing HIV with community culturally and scientific based approaches and practices.

It is well known that the rates within Saskatchewan are continuing to climb especially amongst Indigenous people and that Injection Drug Use remains one the main modes of transmission for the virus.  Per the 2012 Annual Report released by the Saskatchewan provincial government, that “Aboriginal people continue to be highly represented among the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases”. In 2010, 73% (125 cases) of all newly diagnosed HIV cases self-reported Indigenous ethnicity compared to 23% (39 cases) reporting non-Indigenous ethnicity. This is consistent with previous years where Indigenous ethnicity comprised 79% of cases in 2009, 77% in 2008, and 66% in 2007. In 2012, 74% (131 cases) of all newly diagnosed HIV cases self-reported Aboriginal ethnicity.

Promising Practices highlights the success stories of several Indigenous communities in urban and rural First Nations in Saskatchewan and it is the hope that other communities adopt and implement their own culturally appropriate programming to combat HIV and AIDS issues, including stigma and discrimination as well as know that there is hope for APHAs.

This report is prepared for First Nations Inuit Health Branch and for key stakeholders at CAAN including Board of Directors and membership.

The overall goal of the project was to go to the communities and gather stories which shows how those directly involved and impacted with the issues of HIV.  The people interviewed included; APHAs, front line health and social service providers and health care professionals, administrators of policies, leaders and members of the communities.

Theatre Screenings:

Please see the following locations, including times, dates and address.

The videos produced, including the Promising Practices documentary film and the music video for the theme song for the film ‘No Shame’ were shown sequentially in the following locations.

July 12 and August 9, 2016 5:30pm
Roxy Theatre, 320 20th St W, Saskatoon, SK


August 9, 2016, 5:30pm
Rainbow Cinemas Golden Mile, 3806 Albert St, Regina, SK


August 9, 2016, 5:30pm
River City Cinema, 0035 101 St, Peace River, AB


August 10, 2016, 5:30pm
Rainbow Cinemas St. Laurent Centre, 1200 St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON


August 11 at 5:30 PM.
Empress Theatre, 235 24 St, Fort MacLeod, AB


August 22 at 5;30 PM
The Rio Theatre Vancouver, 1660 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC


‘Promising Practices In Indigenous Communities In Saskatchewan’ film is available on YouTube in both English as well as with French subtitles at the following links:

1. English

2. Francais:  Sous-titres en Français – Pratiques Prometteuses Dans Des Communautes Indigènes De Saskatchewan

3. Theme song by Jason Lawrence – ‘No Shame’ Feat: Award Winning Vancouver band Sons Of Granville, From the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra – Ariel Barnes and From renowned world beat band Kutapira – Chris Couto, on YouTube

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