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Addressing HIV/AIDS in Canada´s Northern Inuit communities
P. Lyta1, G. Bailey2
Issues: HIV/AIDS in Canada´s Northern Inuit Communities.
Description: There are three Constitutionally-recognized Indigenous peoples in Canada: the Métis, First Nations and Inuit. Inuit are the people who live in Canada´s North. Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada represents all Inuit women on program and policy development by working with different levels of government, a range of Inuit and non-Inuit stakeholders, and through participating on numerous national committees. Priorities for the organization are set through resolutions passed by delegates to the organization’s annual general meetings.
Pauktuutit began working on sexual health issues in the early 1990s. Pauktuutit’s work has included developing and implementing the nationally and internationally acclaimed ‘Lifesavers’ project, which featured culturally-relevant health promotion and education materials such as condom covers, plain-language fact sheets in English and Inuktitut, and training workshops for front-line workers in Inuit communities.
In 2009, Pauktuutit recently held the first National Inuit Policy Forum on Sexual Health, which brought together national leaders, politicians, Canada´s leading AIDS service organization representatives, community, territorial, provincial and federal representatives as well as Elders and youth. The objectives of the forum were to creating partnerships and solicit input for an updated five year strategic plan to address and identify priorities for sexual health programming in the Inuit regions of Canada. The plan, as developed, identified priority activities including health promotion and prevention, research and surveillance, and collaborative activities. Pauktuutit believes this strategy will be of interest to a range of stakeholders involved with developing population-specific initiatives to address HIV/AIDS internationally.
Lessons learned: Networking with all regions of Canada´s Inuit communities and bringing in partners helped achieve the success of a five (5) year strategic Inuit sexual health plan for Inuit on all sexual health matters.
Next steps: Dissemination and implementation of Five (5) Year Inuit Sexual Health Strategic Plan.
Abstract no. THPE0552
“P.Lyta, et al. Addressing HIV/AIDS in Canada´s Northern Inuit communities. : : Abstract no. THPE0552 “