On February 14-15, 2024inOttawa,over 75 delegatesparticipated in a Visioning Gathering hosted by CAAN Communities, Alliances & Networks (CAAN).This gathering was a ceremony involving singing, drumming and dancing, andwheremanyof thedelegates woretheir traditional regalia.At thisevent, everyone took part in a strategic planning process, which includedreviewing challenges and opportunities and brainstorming solutions to support CAAN in achieving its mandate. The CAAN mandate includes providing a national forum to address HIV and AIDS, HCV, STBBI, TB, mental health, aging and related co-morbidity issues in a culturally relevant manner for Indigenous Peoples.Those who attend the Visioning Gatheringand others who did not have achanceto attend the gatheringwill be asked to review a draft CAAN Strategic Plan.

Visioning Project Leadership Council, February 15, 2024, Ottawa. Back row: Denise Lambert, Patrick Brownlee, Co-Chair Dr. Earl Nowgesic, Trevor Stratton, and Debbie Dalseg. Front row: Leona Quewezance, Co-Chair Margaret Kisikaw Piyesis, Elder Betty McKenna, and Chris Walker. (Missing are Kris Kelly, and Doris Peltier.)
Round Dance at the CAAN-hosted Visioning Gathering, February 15, 2024, Ottawa, Ontario

Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network Ribbon

CAAN Communities, Alliances & Networks (CAAN) established a Leadership Council in late 2023 to support its Visioning Project. The recruitment of members to the Leadership Council was completed in early 2024. The Leadership Council members are as follows: Co-Chair Margaret Kisikaw Piyesis, Co-Chair Dr. Earl Nowgesic, Elder Betty McKenna, Patrick Brownlee, Debbie Dalseg, Kris Kelly, Denise Lambert, Doris Peltier, Leona Quewezance, Trevor Stratton, and Chris Walker.

On January 25, 2024, Elder Betty McKenna conducted a shaking tent ceremony in Regina. The purpose of this ceremony was to guide the visioning efforts of CAAN. Soon people from across Canada will make their way to Ottawa to participate in the CAAN-hosted Visioning Gathering set for February 14-15, 2024. The goal of this national gathering is to present, share, and discuss information and ideas that will support the development of a strategic plan for CAAN.

CAAN Visioning Project Leadership Council, January 25, 2024, Regina (from left to right): Co-Chair Margaret Kisikaw Piyesis, Co-Chair Dr. Earl Nowgesic, Debbie Dalseg, and Patrick Brownlee (Missing are Elder Betty McKenna, Kris Kelly, Denise Lambert, Doris Peltier, Leona Quewezance, Trevor Stratton, and Chris Walker)

CAAN Visioning Project Leadership Council, December 1, 2023, Ottawa (from left to right): Chris Walker, Patrick Brownlee, Co-Chair Dr. Earl Nowgesic, Co-Chair Margaret Kîsîkaw Pîyesîs, and Debbie Dalseg (Missing are Kris Kelly, Elder Betty McKenna, and Trevor Stratton)

On December 1, 2023, CAAN launched Wapiwin Akinê to coincide with World AIDS Day and Indigenous AIDS Awareness Week. Wapiwin Akinê is supported by the Canadian Red Cross Society through the Government of Canada’s Community Services Recovery Fund. Please see the quote from the Hon. Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development contained in the following website: Canada Falling Behind on Slowing the Spread of HIV (newswire.ca)

Wapiwin Akinêis the strategic visioning process led by CAAN. For this, a CAAN-hosted national gathering will take place in Ottawa on February 14-15, 2024. Invitees to this event will include those interested and involved in CAAN such as CAAN Membership, CAAN Board of Directors, CAAN staff, CAAN partners, and CAAN communities, alliances, and networks. For more information about this event, please contact Visioning Administrative Assistant Debbie Dalseg ().

A leadership council was established to guide this strategic visioning process. The leadership council met for the first time at a visioning retreat in Fall 2023 in Canmore, Alberta and created the following video, speaking to the value of visioning through ceremony: