In 1994, Indigenous AIDS Services Organizations (ASO) partnered with the Canadian AIDS Society to undertake governance development and CAAN was eventually incorporated as a national, non-profit ASO in 1997. As a national voice for Indigenous peoples living with/or affected by HIV (IPHAs) and for Indigenous organizations that are actively engaged in a response to HIV and AIDS.
With CAAN’s main office located in Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, and team members, partners, and collaborators across Canada, we are strategically positioned as a national voice for our membership. CAAN provides a forum for Indigenous peoples to holistically address HIV and AIDS, HCV, STBBIs, TB, Mental Health, aging, and related co-morbidity issues; promotes a Social Determinants of Health Framework through advocacy; and provides accurate and up-to-date resources on these issues in a culturally relevant manner for Indigenous peoples wherever they reside. CAAN works to provide accurate and up-to-date information about the prevalence and various modes of transmission of HIV in Indigenous communities and to offer leaders, advocates, and individuals in the AIDS movement a chance to share their issues on a national level by building skills, education/awareness campaigns, and acting in support of harm reduction techniques. Facilitating the creation and development of regionally specific Indigenous AIDS service agencies through leadership, advocacy, and support is a priority for CAAN as we also work to design materials that are aboriginal specific for education and awareness at a national level, and lessen resource costs of underfunded, regional agencies by distributing and making available these materials wherever possible.
CAAN advocates on behalf of Indigenous people living with HIV and AIDS (IPHA’s) by giving them forums in which to share their issues and facilitate the development of healing and wholeness strategies among affected Indigenous populations. As a membership-driven organization, we prioritize the diverse needs of the IPHA community members by providing IPHA leadership forums. As a network, we also work closely with local and provincial Indigenous organizations and our National Indigenous partners. Part of CAAN’s mandate is to provide up-to-date information on HIV and AIDS issues, resources, programming, policy, and research to our membership as well as building partnerships with Indigenous and Non-Indigenous agencies that address the issues of Indigenous people across jurisdictions, thereby improving the conditions in which Indigenous people across Turtle Island live through a continuous and focused effort.