The kʷiisḥinčiƛ: Transformation project was officially named in ceremony in October 2018 by Elder Valerie Nicholson.

The project is a partnership between the Women and HIV Research Program (WHRP) at Women’s College Hospital and the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) and leadership of the project by CAAN.

The kʷiisḥinčiƛ: Transformation project is committed to continuing strength-based and culturally-grounded work for and with Indigenous women. Its base funding has come from WHRP’s CIHR Foundation Grant and its objective is to carry out research and knowledge translation driven by Indigenous women living with HIV:to further strength-based and culturally-grounded research for the wellbeing of Indigenous women living with/or affected by HIV through partnerships, the use of Community-Based Research (CBR), and “Two-eyed Seeing” research methods.

From 2018 to 2025, the kʷiisḥinčiƛ: Transformation Project team will further strength-based and culturally-grounded research for the well-being of Indigenous women living with and impacted by HIV through partnerships, the use of CBR, and “Two-eyed Seeing” research methods. One major activity of the kʷiisḥinčiƛ: Transformation Project is the analyses of the Indigenous women’s data in the Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health cohort study (CHIWOS) (www.chiwos.ca) as its own cohort and for this to be led by the Indigenous CHIWOS Peer Research Associates. These analyses will be completed, and findings will be shared via Sharing Circles and/or retreats.

Stone in a Hand

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Structure of the kʷiisḥinčiƛ Transformation Project

To learn more about these projects, contact Carrie Martin.

The kʷiisḥinčiƛ: Transformation Project

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Learn more about our initiatives

There have been many exciting research projects to support Indigenous women living with and affected by HIV in Canada. These projects include: the Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study (CHIWOS) and CHIWOS Aboriginal Advisory Board- Prioritizing the Health Needs of Positive Aboriginal Women (CAAB-PAW); Strong Bear Women’s Journey (SBWJ); Visioning Health I (VH I) and Visioning Health II (VH II); Women, Art and the Criminalization of HIV (WATCH); Teachings from the Cradleboard: Supporting Indigenous Mothers Living with HIV in Ways that Work; Building Bridges; Digging Deep: Examining the Root Causes of HIV and AIDS in Aboriginal Women; and the Women and HIV Research Program (WHRP) Foundation Grant Objective 3.

This Catalyst Grant’s objectives are to:

  1. connect team members from across the country who have conducted strength-based research with Indigenous women living with and affected by HIV;
  2. develop a national Team, by connecting the research groups, including Indigenous women living with HIV, Elders, Indigenous community leaders, Indigenous Organizations and Indigenous and allied researchers; and
  3. develop a strategic plan to present research findings aimed to impact the lives of Indigenous women living with and affected by HIV in a positive way.

A 2.5-day meeting with members from each Research Team listed above was postponed due to COVID-19. This meeting was intended for the respective teams to present their projects, discuss a larger Umbrella Team and develop a preliminary Strategic Knowledge Dissemination and Implementation Plan. We have launched the successful virtual series called Fireside Chats to remain connected and advance the project.

In June 2014, the United Nations Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues published a Thematic Paper on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of Indigenous Peoples. In 2017, the WHO released a consolidated guideline on the SRHR of women living with HIV. Both stated the need to recognize the rights of Indigenous people to control their own health systems. To meet these international organizations’ goals, the CIHR Grant will be rolled out in 7 countries.

The proposed project has 3 specific aims:

  1. Improved understanding of barriers affecting data collection, analysis, utilization, and communication related to SRHR of Indigenous women and girls living with HIV;
  2. Increased partnerships to inform SRHR care programming, planning, and learning; and
  3. Enhanced capacity of future Indigenous and allied researchers, civil society professions, and in-country leaders to collect, analyze, communicate, and use data effectively.

The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) is a leader in Indigenous health and HIV-related research, and the proposed project builds on our successful partnerships with 7 countries. A ‘Two-eyed Seeing’ approach will connect biomedical science with Indigenous ways of knowing.

Activities and outputs:

  • Scoping literature and policy review on the state of SRHR care of Indigenous women and girls living with HIV, and analyses of relevant international and Canadian policies;
  • Capacity-building group discussions to increase opportunities for local Indigenous women to engage in research activities;
  • Validated and context-specific survey on SRHR care from an Indigenous perspective;
  • Toolkit to reflect local project findings;
  • Context-specific Indigenous knowledge translation.

This Project will enhance the ability of Indigenous women and girls to engage in all levels of research while strengthening our global Indigenous and allied partnerships.

The Fireside Chats series serves as a monthly opportunity to share and discuss different research projects focusing on Indigenous women and HIV in Canada, and to provide capacity-building opportunities. This is not to replace the broader gathering but to create space for teams to come together, connect, and have meaningful discussions about the research projects moving forward.


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kʷiisḥinčiƛ Transformation Project Tools & Resources

Fireside Chats Virtual Series

Fireside Chats Virtual Series

The Fireside Chats series serves as a monthly opportunity to share and discuss different research projects focusing on Indigenous women and HIV in Canada, and to provide capacity-building opportunities.

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kʷiisḥinčiƛ Transformation Project News & Views

kʷiisḥinčiƛ Transformation Project News & Views

Join Our Monthly Virtual Fireside Chats

The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network is pleased to invite you to join our monthly virtual Fireside Chats research series. For the next year, we will be welcoming guest speakers from various Indigenous Women’s HIV research projects to share their research stories with you.

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kʷiisḥinčiƛ Transformation Project Events & Workshops

kʷiisḥinčiƛ Transformation Project Events

Fireside Chat: Digging Deep

Our goal was to focus on Indigenous women and their life experiences as part of helping the women and All Nations Hope Network develop evidence-based community solutions that are culturally safe and focused on the strengths and assets of the women we worked with. To develop models of culturally appropriate care that meet the needs of HIV and HCV-positive Indigenous women. To under the contributing causes of HIV in Saskatchewan.

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Publications

Nadia O’Brien, Carrie Martin, Doris Peltier, Angela Kaida, Marissa Becker, Carrie Bourassa, Laverne Gervais, Sharon Bruce, Mona Loutfy, Alexandra de Pokomandy, CHIWOS–PAW research team. Employing Indigenous Methodologies to Understand Women’s Perceptions of HIV, Health, and Well-being in Quebec, Canada. International Review of Qualitative Research. 2020, Vol. 13(2) 160–181. https://doi.org/10.1177/1940844720934366

Peltier, D., Martin C, Masching, R., Standup, M., Cardinal, C., Nicholson, V., Kazemi, M., Kaida, A., Warren, L., Jaworsky, D., Gervais, L., de Pokomandy, A., Bruce, S., Greene, S., Becker, M., Cotnam, J., Larkin, K., Beaver, K., Bourassa, C., & Loutfy M. (2020). A journey of doing research “in a good way”: Partnership, ceremony, and reflections contributing to the care and wellbeing of Indigenous women living with HIV in Canada. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 11(4). http://doi.org/10.18584/iipj.2020.11.4.8215