City of Vancouver: Act Now to Address Police Violence

June 6, 2020

To the City of Vancouver elected officials:

We are writing today on behalf of YouthCO HIV & Hep C Society to:

  • express our support for Black Lives Matter – Vancouver, BC’s calls to action of June 5, 2020,
  • share our concern about the role of police within our communities, and
  • ask for your commitment and action to address these urgent concerns.
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On anti-Black racism

We grieve Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Chevranna Abdi. We grieve the many more Black people who have died, including those whose names we will never know. Each name represents a preventable death of a Black person, within and beyond our colonial borders. We affirm Black Lives Matter in this time of Black deaths at the hands of police and white supremacy, this past week and beyond.

Yellow text in capital letters that reads "Black Lives Matter". Behind the text is a black and white image of a Black Lives Matter protest on a street.

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Close Coastal GasLink in the COVID-19 Response

May 5, 2020

RE: Coastal Gaslink’s continued work during COVID-19

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Horgan, Minister Dix, Minister Hadju, and Minister Bennett,

We are writing today on behalf of YouthCO HIV & Hep C Society, a youth-led organization that addresses HIV and Hep C stigma. We are writing today to express our concern about the ongoing Coastal GasLink construction amid the multiple states of emergency that have been declared related to COVID-19. We, along with many Indigenous youth from across the province of British Columbia, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, and many other organizations, are concerned about the isolated northern communities that are at increased risk of COVID-19 as a result of continued construction in their territories. We ask that you act now to close the Coastal GasLink site: constructing pipeline is not an “essential service,” especially without consent from the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

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Strategic Planning, but make it youth-y!

We have exciting news: here at YouthCO, we have a new Shared Leadership Plan!

A Shared Leadership Plan is a tool that organizations can use to enable all people at all levels within an organization to take part in leadership, and is YouthCO's take on a strategic plan. Instead of leaving leadership decisions to only one or two people within an organization, a Shared Leadership Plan is built through conversations with everyone who works at YouthCO and our Board of Directors, so we can all decide together what our priorities should be. Putting our Shared Leadership Plan in writing, as we have below, gets us all on the same page about what our shared goals are and helps enable everyone in our organization, from volunteers to staff to board, to take a leadership role in activities and projects that are connect with our collective vision.

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Facts not fear: COVID-19

YouthCO is following COVID-19 updates closely. We are continuing to connect with youth most impacted by HIV and Hep C during this time, while following the COVID-19 precautions in place. We know that these precautions help us to take care of our communities, including our staff. YouthCO will follow the measures suggested and required by the provincial and federal governments in ways that centre our mission and our values.
As much as possible, YouthCO staff are working from home to provide peer education and support to youth impacted by HIV and Hep C. Our physical office location is closed. Phone calls and mail are being forwarded to our team. To find out about our current events, please visit www.youthco.org/events. For YouthCO programming and services, including access to safer sex and harm reduction supplies, please get in touch!  We can be reached by phone at 1-855-968-8426, or email at info@youthco.org.

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Up-to-date information about novel coronavirus COVID-19 is available from the BC Centre for Disease Control at http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19

If we need medical care related to COVID-19 because we think we may have been exposed to, or are experiencing, symptoms of COVID-19, we can call 8-1-1. We can also use the self-assessment at https://covid19.thrive.health/.

For non-medical information about COVID-19, we can call 1-800-COVID19 for information in more than 110 languages. We can also get information about COVID-19 from the Public Health Agency of Canada by calling the telephone information line at: 1-833-784-4397.

 
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Unist'ot'en Solidarity Statement

YouthCO HIV & Hep C Society expresses our solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, and their jurisdiction and governance in Unist’ot’en, Gidimt’en, and across their unceded territory. As an organization of both settler and Indigenous youth, YouthCO calls on the governments of BC and Canada, the RCMP, and Coastal GasLink to stop current actions against Wet’suwet’en land, Wet’suwet’en people, and Wet’suwet’en ways of being. We ask that the federal and provincial government, the RCMP, and Coastal GasLink respect the free prior and informed consent protocol of Wet’suwet’en, and the traditional ways the Wet’suwet’en relate to the land at Unist’ot’en.

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Moomba Magic 2020

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YouthCO welcomes the B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act

The BC Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act is an important step by the provincial government to affirm and implement the self-determination of Indigenous peoples. As an organization led by youth most impacted by HIV and Hep C, we welcome this legislation that affirms the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is relevant here in what we now call BC, to support the implementation of UNDRIP, and to affirm Indigenous governance models. We look forward to its implementation as part of our work to create and support Indigenous youth leadership within HIV and Hep C movements.

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Youth Worker in Fraser!

Meet Tyler Robinson! Tyler is part of YouthCO's Poz Programs team, and works one-on-one with youth living with HIV who live in the Fraser region.

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Celebrating Indigenous Youth Voices & Reclaiming Our Bodies

First Directions was back at it again this March, and this year's group of youth made three videos on important topics! With the support of the First Nations Health Authority, and the MAC AIDS Fund, we hosted another group of creative, outstanding, Indigenous youth from across BC.

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YouthCO's office is located on the unceded traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh people. Our programs take place on unceded, ancestral, and traditional territories of many Indigenous nations across what is now called BC.

YouthCO believes that all youth have the right to accessible and affirming information about our health. We also know each of us has a unique relationship to our bodies, sex, sexuality, substance use, and harm reduction. For many of us, the words other people use for our bodies and their functions are not the words we use for ourselves. Throughout our website, YouthCO uses words for bodies and sex that we know will not reflect the full diversity of our communities. We have tried to, where possible, be as expansive with our language as we know how to while being as specific as possible. As youth leading the HIV movement, we too are learning about the best words for our experiences and do not do this perfectly. We invite any feedback about the language used on our website to help us move forward in the best ways for all youth in our communities!