rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Chee Mamuk wins 'AccolAIDS' award for innovative programming

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Now that the dust has settled on our LACE premiere, we want to offer congratulations to our friends at Chee Mamuk. They have every reason to celebtrate the good work they do, and now they have an award for it!

On April 18, the BC Persons With AIDS Society held an Awards Gala honoring volunteers, paid staff, visionaries, activists and consistent supportive voices who work on behalf of people living with HIV as well as in prevention. We couldn't be more thrilled that Chee Mamuk has won in the category of Innovative Programs & Service Delivery!

I wasn't there to see it, but Melanie Rivers, Jada Gabrielle-Pape and Felicia Tebb sang a women's warrior song dedicated to women living with HIV. Melanie told us that many other really great groups were nominated for this award, so it is really an honour to receive it. "We are honored to be acknowledged by the HIV community for our work. We accepted this award on behalf of Aboriginal people living with and who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS, their families and communities who are learning to support them as they are our teachers."

It is also really important to acknowledge that rates of HIV infection are higher amonst BC's Aboriginal people. Innovative solutions to reducing stigma, increasing care, and supporting prevention that are community-based and culturally relevant are critically important. Chee Mamuk's approach is rooted in  tradition and many years of working with community, I know them well enough to say they know what is important and what works.

I'd like to say they replace the scare tactics, with 'care tactics'!

Here at Hello Cool World we have had the priviledge of working with these amazing women of Chee Mamuk, as well as with some of the BC CDC street nurses, in the five years we have been doing the 'Star in Your Own Stories' workshop with them. These workshops combine HIV/STI and sexual health education, with hands-on  access to video gear and on the spot training with our Hello Cool World video team,  to collectively film a short film over the weekend the workshop takes place. Our latest short film, "By My Name" as well as the others can be seen at www.YouthHaveThePower.com

The workshop is done in a context where the community has been prepared for it and has contributed resources. Chee Mamuk supports the long term use of the short film as it first premieres with a community feast hounouring the youth who made it, and then goes on to be used all over Canada as an educational tool.

Another one of their projects is "Reclaiming Tradition, Around The Kitchen Table (ATKT): a Model for HIV, Hepatitis and Sexual Health Education.  The goal of the ATKT model is to train women in Aboriginal communities to implement a series of ATKT sessions with women in their own communities. These sessions combine information about HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) with cultural activities such as cedar bark weaving or beadwork.

This kind of creative thinking, and long term vision for change is what sets Chee Mamuk's programming apart. This workshop is only one of their innovative programs. Their commitment to 'wise practices' is truly ground-breaking and it is an honour to work with them.

They hope, as do we, that we can turn the SIYOS workshop into a model that can be shared and spread, therefore allowing even more impact to come from it.

As Chee Mamuk's Mandate is to not only deliver these programs, but to build and share models for doing the work, we think they are richly deserving of this award.

Contratulations again!

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.