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Blue Water


Prioritizing the Health and Wellbeing of Indigenous Women Living with HIV

To ensure Indigenous women's voices were properly represented in CHIWOS, non-Indigenous CHIWOS researchers and Indigenous leaders in Canada came together to form an advisory board in 2012. At the time, the advisory board was named The CHIWOS Aboriginal Advisory Board: Prioritizing the Health Needs of Positive Aboriginal Women (CAAB-PAW). Although we now use the term Indigenous, we continue to use the acronym. 

Through the CAAB-PAW, training for Researchers and Coordinators specific to Indigenous communities and issues was held at CAHR 2012 in Montreal and a CIHR Planning Grant was received enabling a retreat meeting in September 2012.

Funding was obtained to roll out CAAB-PAW activities in each of the 3 CHIWOS provinces (Ontario, BC, and Quebec), and two new provinces were engaged in CAAB-PAW activities (Saskatchewan and Manitoba). 

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CHIWOS Indigenous Women’s Data Transfer Ceremony

Held on April 5, 2017 on the unceded territory of the Kanien'kehá:ka people, this ceremony was a monumental event during which quantitative data of the 318 Indigenous women living with HIV who participated in CHIWOS was transferred to Indigenous academic and community leaders.


This ceremony was in line with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Indigenous research ethical protocols, such as Ownership, Control, Access, Possession (OCAP®) and equivalent Métis and Inuit principles.


Guided by an Elder who offered Teachings and Opening and Closing Prayers, the ceremony included gifting, drumming, and song. This event highlighted Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination, to be treated as respected partners in matters affecting them, and to be able to control and protect their traditional knowledge. Approximately 50 researchers, trainees, and coordinators were in attendance.

Click here to read about the Data Transfer Ceremony in our paper, "A Journey of Doing Research “In a Good Way”: Partnership, Ceremony, and Reflections Contributing to the Care and Wellbeing of Indigenous Women Living with HIV in Canada". 

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