National Voice of Indigenous AIDS Communities Being Silenced
TORONTO, Oct. 11, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) is responding to the outcry from the Indigenous HIV and AIDS community as CAAN and other Canadian HIV service organizations have had their federal funding drastically cut or completely discontinued all across the country.
Just two weeks after the Global Fund Replenishment Conference in Montreal, where the federal government pledged $804 million to international efforts on AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has sent out devastating responses from the HIV and Hepatitis C Community Action Fund Letter of Intent process and the results have been catastrophic for the entire sector.
For over 20 years, federally-administered HIV and hepatitis C programs have provided CAAN with critical funding to initiate national programs and partnerships which provide the critical Indigenous connection, perspective, and capacity required for equitable health solutions and wise investment strategies that are beyond the reach of governments alone and require Indigenous, private sector and other supports as well.
"We want to hold the process accountable in order to restore and create wellness opportunities for all Indigenous peoples engaged with the Health system," stated Ken Clement, CEO of Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network. "Supporting our Indigenous community is pivotal to turning the tide of this growing epidemic, now more than ever, when Canada is experiencing Third World level AIDS rates."
Prime Minister Trudeau states in his Mandate Letter to the Minister of Health, "It is time for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership." As members of the Indigenous community we want to take these words at face value.
The impact of PHAC's decision to severely reduce funding for CAAN decimates the leading voice of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples living with HIV or AIDS and organizations that are members of CAAN and will have far-reaching consequences on both Indigenous health and reconciliation.
The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) is a national non-profit coalition of individuals and organizations that provides leadership, accurate information, support and advocacy for Aboriginal individuals living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.
SOURCE Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN)
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