The AHA Centre is a national, Indigenous-led collaborative research centre housed at CAAN.

Funded by The Canadian Institutes of Health Research in 2012, The AHA Centre supports HIV and AIDS Community-Based research (CBR) conducted in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities across Canada.

CBR is an approach to research where the needs and well-being of a community are at the core. CBR is engaged with the intention topartnerwith community members in order to gain a full scope perspective of an issue with the goal of providing results that will help a community to make decisions and implement change.

For the AHA Centre, CBR is an approach to research that ensures:

  • culturally responsive, community-based HIV and determinants of health research;
  • strong foundations for community leadership;
  • research projects that are relevant to our communities;
  • meaningful engagement of people living with HIV and Indigenous communities; and
  • research findings that inform action.

With a leadership team of highly respected Indigenous (and allied) community members, researchers, Elders and Knowledge Keepers, the AHA Centre has an exceptional track record of working in a good way with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, and demonstrating integrity that is expected by both community and academia. We have partnered with and supported many research projects and teams and contributed to regional, national and international HIV conferences and gatherings.

What is a collaborative centre?

The overall objectives of the funding for the CBR Centre is to:

  • Support, evolve and expand the collaborative work between existing HIV/AIDS national structures with regional and/or provincial HIV/AIDS Community Based Organizations and researchers in order to foster the national coordination of HIV/AIDS Community Based Research efforts;
  • Provide infrastructure support to position HIV/AIDS community organizations and academic teams to develop strategic research programs that succeed in securing research funding through other opportunities; and
  • Promote the creation, and its translation, of new knowledge that is relevant to communities and to the goals of the Federal Initiative and advance the uptake of research and evidence into action so that it may positively impact the response of community-based organizations to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The AHA Centre Logo

In loving memory of our Elder Cliff Thomas.

“we will miss your smiling voice…”


Our Mission & Vision

The AHA Centre builds capacity in and supports culturally-responsive community-based HIV and determinants of health research through meaningful engagement with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples living with HIV, communities, researchers and policy makers while utilizing knowledge translation to inform evidence-driven action.

We envision a network of institutions, communities and individuals working together for excellence in community-based research, culturally-responsive approaches, and action-oriented solutions to HIV and AIDS affecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada.


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Learn More About the AHA Centre

Our History

Our History

The AHA Centre was first funded by CIHR July 2012—2017 to support Community-Based Research (CBR) efforts that contribute to an effective response to HIV & AIDS-related issues relevant to First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada and international Indigenous populations.

Our Funders & Partners

Our Funders & Partners

We raise our hands in gratitude to our funders and research partners. The work the AHA Centre does in support of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities across the land would not be possible without the support from you.


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The AHA Centre: What You Need to Know

What We Do:

  • Assist community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations and institutions in developing the knowledge necessary to carry out their HIV/AIDS work.
  • Create expertise within these communities to conduct their own research.
  • Build HIV/AIDS Community Based Research (CBR) capacity across Canada to create new and maintain existing partnerships between community and academia, and to foster the development of new HIV/AIDS CBR projects and applications for funding.

What Makes Us Unique:

  • We are the only one! No other focus on HIV and CBR in Indigenous communities exists in the world.
  • Self determination in action – research is in our hands.
  • Guide and develop respectful engagement strategies.
  • Support research by us and for us.
  • Ongoing development of Indigenous methodologies with Indigenous and non-indigenous colleagues around the world.
  • Decolonizing methodologies through frameworks such as two-eyed seeing.
  • ​Offer leadership in research processes to maintain excellence in both community and academic research that is ethical, rigorous and valid.

Governance

The AHA Centre: Governance
Red: Governing Council; Principal KUs/Is; Co-KUs/Is; Collaborators. Blue: AHA Centre Partners. Navy: Staff/Ops Team. Green: CAAN.

With a leadership team of highly respected community members, researchers, and Elders, the AHA Centre is governed by a team with an exceptional track record of working with Indigenous communities.

AHA Centre Team:
Knowledge Users, Investigators, Collaborators and Supporters

Partners of the AHA Center:
Organizations and centres working in the fields of HIV and AIDS, STBBIs, Indigenous Health and related areas of research.

Staff of the AHA Centre:
Staff members are the heart of the AHA Centre and work closely with the Operations team (co-Directors and CAAN CEO) to ensure smooth operations.


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AHA Centre Tools & Resources

How to Write Field Notes

How to Write Field Notes

Field notes are a great way to record your observations during an event so that you don’t forget details later on. This document also includes a useful Fieldnote Template.

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Adapting the Community Readiness Model

Adapting the Community Readiness Model

CAAN and the AHA Centre are proud to have supported the “Adapting the Community Readiness Model (CRM) for HIV/AIDS Prevention, Education and Screening with Inuit Communities Developing Strategies for HIV Prevention with Community Input & Collaboration” project from the stages of grant development, data collection and piloting through to completion.

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A Guide to Writing a CIHR Catalyst Grant

A Guide to Writing a CIHR Catalyst Grant

Applying for an operating grant can be a daunting task. In this presentation we give an overview of what an operating grant is and provide a detailed break down of the different sections. Allow us to take this journey with you!

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AHA Centre News & Views

AHA Centre News & Views

Journal of Indigenous HIV Research Volume 12 Call for Papers: Capacity Bridging

The Journal of Indigenous HIV Research (JIHR) is an annual on-line journal published through the AHA Centre, by the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) as a service to its members and anyone with an interest in Indigenous community-based research (CBR). This year, we’ve chosen the theme of ‘Capacity Bridging’ as the focus of Volume 12.

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