Tlicho Natsedzi Nihtsi: Tlicho Healing Wind Project/ Promoting Sexual Health
Principal Investigator: Martin, Jim L (6)
Licence Number: 14111
Organization: Tlicho Community Services Agency
Licenced Year(s): 2011 2010 2008 2007
Issued: Feb 09, 2007
Project Team: Karen Edwards (Assistant Research Supervisor, University of Alberta), Cecilia Zoe-Martin (Assistant Coordinator/Community Based Researchers, TCSA Behchoko), Nora Wedzin (Coordinator, Community Based Researchers, TCSA Behchoko), Christine Smith (Assistant Coordinator/Community Based Researchers, TCSA Behchoko)

Objective(s): The purpose of the project is to reduce and if possible eradicate the incidences of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the region through promotion of healthy sexual practices in the context of respectful relationships. The specific goals of the project include: 1) developing a research base that will indicate how and why STIs are being contracted and spread throughout the region; 2) providing a public relations project that will make all Tlicho citizens aware of the dangers of STI's and the need to practise safe sex; 3) providing training to all healthcare/wellness caregivers in the region in the prevention and treatment of STIs; 4) developing an information system that will enable the research team to monitor and track cases of STIs and to measure the results achieved through this strategy; and 5) reviewing and revising the school health curriculum in relation to STIs and the ways it is taught in the school system.

Project Description: The purpose of the project is to reduce and if possible eradicate the incidences of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the region through promotion of healthy sexual practices in the context of respectful relationships. The specific goals of the project include: 1) developing a research base that will indicate how and why STIs are being contracted and spread throughout the region; 2) providing a public relations project that will make all Tlicho citizens aware of the dangers of STI's and the need to practise safe sex; 3) providing training to all healthcare/wellness caregivers in the region in the prevention and treatment of STIs; 4) developing an information system that will enable the research team to monitor and track cases of STIs and to measure the results achieved through this strategy; and 5) reviewing and revising the school health curriculum in relation to STIs and the ways it is taught in the school system.

The Tlicho communities and leadership have recognized the need to address STI/HIV/AIDS as a present and potential future threat to community health. A number of community based programs have been considered, and some have already been started. There is a need for a research base to create a clearer picture of the needs in the communities; address strengths and weaknesses of existing initiatives; and create grounded priorities for future action. CIET Canada has been invited to conduct a community-based survey, providing training for a team of community researchers and to repeat the survey a year later to measure results.
A survey to learn more about the sexual health, behaviours and attitudes is planned as part of this research project. The research team will train community researchers in undertaking the survey in the Tlicho communities of Behchoko, Wekweeti, Gameti, and Whati. Survey responses will be analyzed in March and used in the development of effective STI information and education strategies in the region. Survey responses are highly confidential— no names will be requested and the survey information and the analysis will be safeguarded by the Tlicho Community Services Agency. Upon completion of the project, all completed questionnaires will be destroyed. Due to the sensitive nature of the topic and wariness on the part of regional leadership about media sensationalizing the material, there is no intention at this time to publicly communicate the results of the survey. Information from the survey will however be used to develop more effective strategies to inform and educate people in the region about their sexual health. The exact nature of these strategies and the form this information may take will emerge from discussion and analysis of the survey results.

The survey will be conducted from February 9 to December 31, 2007 in Behchoko, Wekweeti, Gameti, and Whati. Participants ranging in age from 9-14 years old will be recruited unless parental objection is registered with the Tlicho Community Services Agency.