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Community Partners

Elevate NWO and the Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy (Oahas) are two community partners and CAAN is a national forum for Indigenous peoples living with HIV that I have the opportunity to work with.

Mission and Vision

We are a community-based, not-for -profit organization that provides services, opportunities and programs to improve the lives and empower people living with, affected by or at risk of HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. 


Elevate NWO was established in 1987 to address support and education needs around HIV.  Known then as AIDS Thunder Bay, the organization continued to grow and respond to HIV in the community increasing its capacity and taking on harm reduction and later Hep C. Today Elevate provides a one-stop shop from prevention of HIV and Hep C through the use of Harm Reduction Strategies and supplies to testing, treatment and support for those who test positive.

Thunder Bay, Ontario
© 2021 Anita C. Benoit

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Kuliouou Ridge Trail, Oahu
© 2021 Anita C. Benoit


Mission and Vision

Oahas mission is to provide culturally respectful and sensitive programs and strategies to respond to the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic among Aboriginal people in Ontario through promotion, prevention, long-term care, treatment and support initiatives consistent with harm reduction. Oahas will continue to operate distinctly and in parallel with the vision, goals and objectives of the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS and the Ontario HIV/AIDS Strategy. 


Oahas shares a common Vision with the Aboriginal Health Policy. “The Ontario provincial Aboriginal Health Policy exists in the context of the inherent right to self-government.” “Aboriginal health is holistic and includes the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of life. Through this understanding of self, a vision of wellness balances body, mind and spirit and is promoted throughout the healing continuum. Committed partnerships of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and governments will recognize and respect the diversities in lifestyles and traditions of Aboriginal people regardless of residency and status.”

Mission and Vision

CAAN provides a National forum for Aboriginal Peoples to wholistically 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 Aboriginal Peoples wherever they reside.

CAAN is a national Aboriginal organization and as such is committed to addressing the issues of HIV within a Native context. Although the beliefs of Aboriginal people vary widely from region to region and from  person to person, the agency has made a commitment to conduct its  activities in a spirit of Native wholeness and healing. This disease can only  be overcome by respecting our differences and accentuating our unity of  spirit and strength.

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