Promising Practices is an award-winning series of three stand-alone films, which highlight how Indigenous communities in Canada are utilizing culture to enhance health outcomes. Filmed with breathtaking cinematography in the regions of their titles and all original music scoring, they’ve all met rave reviews and been picked up by press globally.
The first film in this series was nominated for best short documentary the at the LA Skins Fest, where two of the films were screened at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood and the World AIDS Conference in Durban South Africa.
All three films and the soundtrack have won several awards, as well as the music video ‘No Shame’ by Jason Q Lawrence.
Promising Practices In Eskasoni First Nation, was filmed on location in Nova Scotia. It focuses on a community that is addressing HIV and Hepatitis C; utilizing harm reduction, and by using cultural practices along with other evidence-based methods.
The film also includes topics of high suicide rates, drug addiction and other health issues that drive high rates of HIV and Hepatitis C. The narrative is told through interviews with community leaders, health care professionals and those with lived experiences.
Recognizing a need for change, this community started by examining their policies and methods. Facing challenges such as resistance, stigma and discrimination, they began designing innovative ways to create change, integrating cultural practices and ceremony into healthcare with a holistic approach.
Since harm reduction was implemented in their community, the local elders and leaders explain how it has made a difference.
The story of this community on it’s own healing journey is a roadmap for others to follow.
Executive Producers Ken Clement And Merv Thomas, Directed By Merv Thomas, Produced By Jason Q Lawrence, Filmed And Edited By Darko Sikman, Second Camera Unit Darrell Mcbride, Music By Thomas Beckman, Justin Brown And Jason Q Lawrence, Featuring, Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos – Shaukuhachi, Mixed By Vince Renaud
in Timiskaming First Nation
Indigenous communities across Canada are experiencing an increase in the spread of the Hepatitis C Virus. This is Timiskaming First Nation’s story and it tells us how the entire community is working together to respond to this public health crisis. Using the Community Readiness Model, they have made tremendous strides in addressing the various issues that come with HCV, including stigma and discrimination.
Executive Producers Ken Clement and Merv Thomas, Directed by Merv Thomas, Producer Jason Lawrence, Filmed and Edited by Darko Sikman, Timiskaming First Nation Second Camera Unit Project Technical Collaboration and Editing Darrell A McBride, Timiskaming First Nation Project Office Production Manager Donna McBride, Original Soundtrack by Thomas Beckman, Songs Perfomed by Jason Chamakese, Marilyn Chevrier-Wills, Jason Lawrence
Special thanks to the following: Timiskaming First Nation, Chief Wayne McKenzie and Council Members, Timiskaming First Nation Health Centre, Carrefour Jeunesse, Emploi Du Témiscamingue, Centre De Santé Sainte Famille (Ville-Marie Hospital), Centre De Santé Pikogan, Health Canada – First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Special thanks to Tammy Chevrier-Gliddy for having the courage and strength to share her story, Martin Clan. Meinokapowahk, Wahbehshashi Doodem – Cultural Coordinator, Timiskaming First Nation Health Centre
Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) has produced and released this twenty-two (22) minute documentary. This documentary highlights Indigenus communities in rural Saskatchewan that are successfully addressing HIV and AIDS issues in a culturally appropriate holistic manner.
One often hears only the sad stories, stories that not only highlight the negative aspects of Indigenous people’s lives in Canada, but continues to perpetuate the stereotypes regarding Indigenous peoples. These communities are challenging these stereotypes as they take control over their own their health and wellbeing, they are addressing HIV ‘head on’ with community culturally based, culturally appropriate traditions and wellness; and Indigenous People Living with HIV share stories of how stigma and discrimination have made them stronger. “HIV has been an incredible teacher!” Krista Shore.
CAAN hopes that this film will be a tool for other communities to learn from so they can take ownership of the health of their communities.
Funding for the film is through a contribution agreement with Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch.
Executive Producers Ken Clement, Merv Thomas, Directed by Merv Thomas, Jake Hanna, Filmed by Jake Hanna, Produced by Merv Thomas, Jake Hanna, Jason Lawrence, Production Manager Merv Thomas, Edited by Jake Hanna, Chris Ikonomopolous, Original Soundtrack by ‘The Sons of Granville’, Original Song ‘No Shame’ by Jason Lawrence
We wish to acknowledge and thank the Indigenous Communities in Saskatchewan for sharing their stories of promising practices, All Nations Hope Network, Saskatchewan Indigenous Council on HIV and AIDS, Sturgeon Lake First Nation, Chief and Council for allowing us to film on their territory, Norma Rabbitskin for all her help, Sturgeon Lake Health Centre, Ahtahkakoop First Nation, Chief and Council for their support, Freda Ahenakew, Executive Director, Cree Haven Treatment Centre, Special thanks to the staff and residents of Cree Haven Treatment Centre, Special thank you to Geri Bailey and Erin Henry!