Background of the Organization
The AIDS Task Force began in 1991 after two First Nation people from Nova Scotia attended an AIDS conference in BC. They were very concerned about the effect this disease may have on their home communities, so influenced others to educate First Nation communities across Nova Scotia about HIV and AIDS. Fifteen First Nation communities across the province quickly joined forces to begin their fight against AIDS forming the “Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq AIDS Task Force”. All the Atlantic Provinces have since joined the cause. You may know us to be the Atlantic First Nations AIDS Task Force. However, since May 2000 our organization is now known as Healing Our Nations.
Our purpose is to educate First Nation people about HIV disease and AIDS. Knowing the risks associated with the spread of HIV and defining the myths and facts about AIDS is the first step to healing our nations. Eliminating the spread of AIDS in First Nation communities is not the only focus of our organization because we see this disease as only a symptom of a greater problem. Our goal is to help First Nation people rediscover their pride, traditions, and spirituality in an attempt to improve child development and eliminate family violence, substance abuse, depression, and suicide.
See the Living History section for a more detailed timeline of our organization. This progress report describes many key people and events that made our organization as effective as it is today.