A Recap on First Directions

During mid-March, Yúusneswas (YouthCO’s Indigenous peer-led education program) along with Reel Youth ventured on a five day retreat called First Directions with youth from across BC! During this retreat, we were able to discuss sexual health, sexuality and how we as Indigenous youth can begin to decolonize  our bodies. 

While the Yúusnewas team provided the sexual health knowledge, Reel Youth helped us create videos about the topics and issues we were discussing.  During my time at First Directions, I was able to meet other youth and hear their perspectives on Indigenous health issues and how it has impacted them. We worked in two small groups, then ventured on a long process of brainstorming ideas for our videos, and then spent two days filming our messages. The ideas that came out of the brainstorming sessions were mainly based around self-image and coming together for help in whatever ways that looks like for us. The videos area available below.

First Directions is a great way to raise awareness among Indigenous youth about the ways HIV impacts our communities, especially in rural and remote areas. It also speaks to the vital role that Indigenous youth-led education programs have in supporting Indigenous communities to take back education about HIV into their own hands and provide support for those of us living with HIV. 

My Body

Created by Annie Kruger, Danica Denommé, Florence Dubé, and Ryan Titus


Created by Chasity Clifton, Shania Brown, Isaiah Bedard, and Jessica Vielle


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!