TIPI Dreams – Removing Barriers and Improving Access to Culturally Relevant Gender Specific HIV/AIDS Prevention Information among Hard-to-Reach, at-Risk Aboriginal women and girls
Tipi Dreams was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) that engaged over sixty at risk Aboriginal women and girls, along with staff from over a dozen agencies that work with them. Information gathered from the implementation of this project was used to develop this innovative, adaptive toolkit. It is hoped that this work will provide better understanding of the linkages between issues such as family violence, surviving family violence, displacement of youth through apprehension through child welfare, alcohol and substance abuse, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Effects, sexual exploitation, loss of culture and language and high risk behaviour contributing to HIV/AIDS infection.
Tipi Dreams was designed to respond to the high rates of HIV among Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. The purpose of the project was to gather perspectives about the unique experiences of “high-risk” Aboriginal women and girls to inform the design and development of HIV awareness and prevention materials.
Tipi Dreams is a toolkit that consists of a youth friendly screenplay with five separate but connected scenes that were developed to capture the essence of some of the key issues faced by Aboriginal girls in care, and to trigger discussion around some of the more difficult aspects of sexually transmitted diseases. Shot in Vancouver with a mixture of professional Aboriginal youth actors and non-actors, the film features an original hip hop song on HIV prevention by Wanda Wuttunee, who used words and information from the 12 focus groups NWAC held to write the lyrics. The kit also includes a cinema forum guidebook.
Tipi Dreams underwent revision to enhance the male role, understanding that in order to promote getting tested among women and girls, their partners (boys and men) must get tested too. This newer revamped version of Tipi Dreams will reflect input we received during the piloting phase of the project, and will include a Francophone version of the video.