Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network Connects World Experts and Activists in South Africa


Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network Connects
World Experts and Activists in South Africa

International Indigenous AIDS Pre-Conference on HIV and AIDS 2016

Vancouver, BC (June 21, 2016) – As Canada celebrates Aboriginal History Month to recognize the enormous contributions that First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples have made to Canada, the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) is getting ready to share those gains with the world! They will represent Canada as activists, researchers, doctors and policy-makers gather in Durban, South Africa for the 6th Annual International Indigenous Pre-Conference on HIV and AIDS (IIPCHA) July 16-17, and the biennial International AIDS Conference (IAC) July 18-22, 2016.

Expected Guests/Speakers:

  • Honourable Canadian Minister of Health, Jane Philpott
  • Provincial Minister of Health KwaZulu-Natal, Dr. Sibongiseni Maxwell Dhlomo
  • Mayor of Durban, James Nxumalo
  • Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS, Dr. Luiz Loures

CAAN is part of the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV & AIDS (IIWGHA) that will host the pre-conference and lead daily interactive sessions on:

  • Traditional Medicine, Care, Treatment, Support & Prevention – traditional medicine, cultural practices and innovative programming.
  • Indigenous Identities, World Views and HIV – discussions around “Indigeneity” in the South African context.
  • Meaningful Engagement of Women and Girls – involvement of women and girls living with HIV and women working in HIV.
  • Leadership, Advocacy and Policy: Social and Structural Drivers of HIV – decisions that create barriers for Key Affected Populations most at risk of HIV.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Ebenezer Durojaye, African Commission of Human Rights
  • Earl Nowgesic, Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Marama Pala, International Indigenous Working Group on HIV & AIDS
  • Delme Cupido, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA)
  • Zodwa Masinga, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • John Meletse, Hearing Impaired HIV Activist

IIPCHA will also host the world premiere of CAAN’s new documentary, “Nothing About Us, Without us – Promising Practices in Saskatchewan First Nation Communities”. The film highlights Indigenous communities in rural Saskatchewan that are experiencing HIV and AIDS rates among highest in the world, and with innovative, culturally appropriate practices are taking ownership of their health and addressing the epidemic.

“The International Indigenous Pre-conference on HIV & AIDS is an opportunity for Indigenous peoples from all over the world to share wise and promising practices, learn from each other and build relationships across continents, cultures, traditions, and languages,” said Ken Clement, IIWGHA Co-Chair Canada and CAAN CEO.

Indigenous and non-Indigenous are invited to come together in Durban, South Africa to celebrate, strategize and network on an Indigenous led response to HIV AIDS. For more information or complimentary registration, visit: 




For over two decades Indigenous peoples and leaders around the world have worked together to form the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV & AIDS to build a unified voice for Indigenous peoples in collective action against HIV and AIDS by creating partnerships with governments, Indigenous leaders, research bodies, and AIDS organizations. IIWGHA provides Indigenous leaders an outlet for sharing, exchanging, and gaining experiences and knowledge on HIV and AIDS to promote hope and change within their own communities.

About CAAN

The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) is a not-for-profit
 coalition of individuals and organizations which provides leadership, support and advocacy for Aboriginal individuals living with and affected by HIV and AIDS, regardless of where 
they reside. Their philosophy is that all Aboriginal Peoples deserve the right to protect themselves against infectious disease and thrives on providing the Aboriginal community with accurate and current information about HIV including risks of contracting the virus, issues of care and treatment, and support for families and those living with the disease.

Join the conversation on Facebook: @IIPCHA  Twitter: @IIWGHA

Media Contact:
Shelley Mantei, Mediatonic PR

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