Toward a Made-in-Saskatchewan response: Partners in HIV research

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For Immediate Release
July 16, 2015

Toward a Made-in-Saskatchewan response: Partners in HIV research

Regina, SK – All Nations Hope Network (ANHN) is excited to announce a formal relationship with the Saskatchewan HIV/AIDS Research Endeavour (SHARE) as part of building towards a made-in-Saskatchewan response to HIV. Guided by the Saskatchewan Indigenous Strategy on HIV/AIDS (SISHA), ANHN and SHARE are committed to working together to address shared research objectives focused on Indigenous communities and HIV.

Formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding, this initiative compliments the continuum of responses to HIV currently underway. As recent news coverage has highlighted, there is much to be done to meaningfully address HIV (and Hepatitis C) rates in Saskatchewan, inclusive of locally-driven Indigenous research.

Margaret Poitras, ANHN CEO asserts, “It is time to bring to light an Indigenous response to research in regards to the root causes surrounding HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C in Saskatchewan. This includes Indigenous ways, teachings, ceremonies and languages, which are important in creating solution-based research. We are confident that partnering with Saskatchewan-based research expertise will enhance the implementation of SISHA.”

As rates of HIV and AIDS within Saskatchewan continue to rise, it is important that the needs of Indigenous communities in the province are being met. SHARE is advocating a provincial strategy (i.e., Getting to 90-90-90) that addresses these needs and more. Working with and in urban, rural, reserve, and remote communities, this formalized relationship is guided by SISHA and SHARE’s common key priorities.

Stryker Calvez, SHARE Executive Director explains, “Any successful response to the HIV and Hepatitis C epidemics in Saskatchewan must be established and supported by the affected communities. Working with Indigenous people and organizations like ANHN to better understand the needs of community members, to shape the messages and the responses, is the most expedient way to improve the quality of life of those living with HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C, and their communities.”

The announcement of this partnership coincides with the opening of the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) Wise Practises Research Gathering, which brings together diverse stakeholders in Aboriginal community-based HIV & AIDS research to share knowledge and research findings across the country. Wise Practices also provides a forum to articulate an understanding of Indigenous peoples’ ways of knowing the world to CAAN members and the broader Aboriginal HIV CBR community.

Ken Clement, CAAN CEO stated, “ANHN and CAAN have worked collaboratively in the past. We welcome SHARE as a new organization in community-based research and fully support this promising new initiative. CAAN recognizes and honours the voice of Aboriginal communities and caregivers who work tirelessly to improve the health status of Indigenous people. We look forward to the knowledge sharing opportunities that will emerge as a result of this new Saskatchewan-based initiative.”

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About ANHN
Since 1995, ANHN is a network of Indigenous people, organizations and agencies who respectfully strive to provide support and services to First Nations, Métis and Inuit families and communities who are experiencing HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C in Saskatchewan.

SHARE provides relevant and practical research expertise in exploring and examining issues affecting clinical and community programming for the treatment, care, and prevention of HIV in Saskatchewan. SHARE operates as a collaborative partnership between four co-lead physicians, local and national researchers, community organizations, clinicians, and policymakers to improve quality of life for all people affected by HIV.

Media inquiries Contact

Stryker Calvez, ED
Saskatchewan HIV/AIDS Research Endeavour
320 Avenue F South
Saskatoon, SK S7M 1T2
Phone: 306.850.1554
Margaret Poitras, CEO
All Nations Hope Network
2735 5th Avenue
Regina, SK S4T 0L2
Phone: 306.539.3005

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