VANCOUVER – To launch National Aboriginal Hepatitis C Month in May, the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) is proud to release, Promising Practices in Timiskaming First Nation, the second film in a series of documentaries which showcase community-led initiatives and the power of storytelling to improve health outcomes.
This time the camera lens focuses on tackling Hepatitis C with culturally appropriate practices as Indigenous People in Canada are seven times more likely to be infected and 44 per cent of those chronically infected are not aware of their status. In 2011, it was estimated more than 461,000 Canadians had a history of a Hepatitis C infection and injection drug use remains the highest risk factor for contracting this blood to blood virus.
This past summer Health Canada approved a drug touted as a cure for hepatitis C, but numerous challenges remain: limited access to treatment, insufficient diagnosis, high cost of drugs; and not least of all, HIV co-infection, which is over represented in Canada’s Aboriginal communities, particularly in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
While filming over a two-year period, Promising Practices in Timiskaming First Nation tells the story of how the Timiskaming First Nation is addressing Hepatitis C in their community by utilizing the Community Readiness Model. One of the documentary’s narratives follows an Anishnabe woman’s powerful story of her lived experience using richIndigenous culture and traditions to face her challenges.
Copies of the documentary are available for personal or community use. CAAN is also sharing their Aboriginal Hepatitis C Toolkit to bring more awareness to this disease believed to have infected hundreds of thousands of Canadians, many of whom are unaware they harbour the virus.
For more information visit, www.caan.ca/hepatitis-c-toolkit. Promising Practices in Timiskaming First Nation will debut May 1, 2017 in Cobalt, Ontario.