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.
Created by Annie Kruger, Danica Denommé, Florence Dubé, and Ryan Titus
Created by Chasity Clifton, Shania Brown, Isaiah Bedard, and Jessica Vielle