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Aboriginal groups making historic HIV-AIDS pact

Two provincial aboriginal organizations are making history by teaming up to address HIV-AIDS in the aboriginal community.

On Feb. 1, an agreement will be signed between Shining Mountains Living Community Services and the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association for the first time in Alberta.

The agreement is one of partnership and co-operation to improve services for people living with or affected by HIV-AIDS.

Raye St. Denys, Shining Mountains’ executive director, said this will allow resource sharing, and access to training and education for staff throughout the province.

St. Denys said the memorandum will provide two-way learning and strengthen the aboriginal community.

“We will be better able to help aboriginal communities, whether it is here in Red Deer or in Calgary or up in Fort Mac or down in Pincher Creek,” said St. Denys.

“We will have access and be able to help people who are positive access elders who are comfortable discussing the issues in their communities.”

St. Denys said the Friendship Centres will be able to draw on Shining Mountain’s resources, including an awareness prevention tool that was developed with input from aboriginal people from rural locations in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The signing takes place at 1 p.m. at Shining Mountains. At noon, Red Deer and provincial dignitaries will deliver speeches.

For more information, contact Shining Mountains at 403-346-9794.



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