MONTRÉAL, QC–/COMMUNITYWIRE/–In a few short weeks, the international community of world leaders, scientists, researchers, community and civil society advocates, service providers, private sector, and philanthropic partners will gather in Montréal, Canada for the biennial International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2022; July 29 – Aug 2). As a vital and long-standing forerunning event, the 9th International Indigenous Pre-Conference on HIV and AIDS (July 26-28) is preparing to welcome over 150 delegates from Indigenous leadership, government leaders, communities, and allied organizations from across the world. The pre-conference will shine a global spotlight on the urgent need for coordinated, well-resourced Indigenous-led responses to address the continued over-representation of Indigenous People affected by HIV in Canada and globally.
Over the 3-day pre-conference, delegates will focus on amplifying the critical space and role of Indigenous approaches and culture in ensuring an effective, coordinated, and locally owned response to HIV and other related health conditions such as Hepatitis and Tuberculosis. Highlighting Indigenous issues and culture recognizes Indigenous People as a “priority population”, one that must receive proportional and targeted funding to develop evidence-based, Indigenous-specific strategies in order to truly meet the 2030 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) endorsed by world leaders.
As CEO of Communities, Alliances and Networks (CAAN, formerly the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network) and co-host of the pre-conference, Margaret Kisikaw Piyesis, Kind Hearted Warrior Woman – Kisewatisowin Okihcitaskwew – of Cree Nation says: “As Indigenous people of Turtle Island, CAAN has a vision that is inclusive of the many diverse Indigenous peoples across the land and across Mother Earth. It is important for the health and wellness of Indigenous people to know their ancestors, to know that Indigenous ways of knowing and doing (IWKD) are important for the generations to come. Indigenous people are rich in their knowing: languages, ceremonies, medicines and relationships, these are important paths we take as we lead other Indigenous peoples to have one vision. Rich through our knowing of the ancestors.”
This year’s pre-conference will launch the first ever international non-governmental organization led-by Indigenous community representatives to advocate for the needs and interests of Indigenous Peoples in global HIV policy, programming, and finance discussions. As co-host of the pre-conference, the International Indigenous HIV/AIDS Community (IIHAC) will continue a 20-year history of resounding leadership and mandate to build a unified voice for Indigenous Peoples in collective action against HIV and AIDS globally.
The pre-conference will combine in-person and online/remote access to harness digital technologies for the sharing of more engaging, inclusive, and diverse perspectives, discussions, learnings, and teachings. The co-hosts are excited to announce the attendance of Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Harold Phillips, who leads the U.S. Whitehouse’s Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), Dr. Alethse de la Torre Rosas, Director of the National Center for the Prevention and Control of HIV / AIDS in Mexico, and officials from across the Canadian government.
To learn more, please see the conference website and reach out to the media contact below.
About The Organization
CAAN is a non-profit NGO that aims to be a global platform where nations can organize to address HIV and AIDS, HCV, STBBIs, TB, Mental Health, aging and related co-morbidity issues affecting Indigenous communities. The organization is governed by 13 Board of Directors, whom many are Indigenous peoples living with, or affected by, HIV and AIDS, and Hepatitis C. CAAN works to find holitisic and Indigenous approaches in order to find global solutions to these health epidemics.
The International Indigenous HIV/AIDS Community (IIHAC) is an international organization with the vision of a world where Indigenous communities are empowered to direct the course of their own HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. Their mission is to create an international voice and structure that links Indigenous Peoples with their Indigenous leadership, varying levels of government, AIDS service organizations, cooperatives, and others in a global collective action to lower the disproportionate impact of HIV and AIDS experienced by Indigenous Peoples.