Policy Sectors

Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH)

Our goal is to empower First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women, girls, and gender-diverse people with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. We also conduct community-based research to better advocate for sexual and reproductive policies and programs, particularly those that intersect colonialism and gender-based violence.

The Health Unit is currently working on three projects in this area:

  1. The Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infection (STBBI) Project is in response to the fact that while Indigenous women and girls are highly over-represented among HIV cases and other STBBIs, most STBBI services are not designed with Indigenous women in mind. We know that Indigenous women and girls’ vulnerability to STBBIs is intimately linked to a variety of health determinants. These include poverty, housing insecurity, mental health and addictions, adverse childhood experiences, racism, and unresolved intergenerational trauma as a result of colonialism and the legacy of the residential school system. Given this knowledge, STBBI interventions for Indigenous women and girls need to be culturally relevant, gender-based, and trauma-informed. This project is funded by the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch.
  2. RED Path is a five-year project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. The goal is to develop sustainable, evidence-based, and culturally safe STBBI interventions for incarcerated Indigenous women. NWAC wants to increase the knowledge of STBBIs among this population, and build their capacity to prevent infection and improve health outcomes, while reducing stigma and connecting them to their culture.
  3. The Forced and Coerced Sterilization Project involves research and advocacy to address the ongoing issue of coerced and forced sterilizations of Indigenous women in Canada. Our project has held expert forums, participated in discussions relating to policy and recommendations, led community engagement sessions, and developed resources on sexual and reproductive health, informed consent, birth control options, and filing complaints.


DISCLAIMER: Funding for the FNIHB STBBI Project is provided by Indigenous Services Canada. The opinions expressed in related materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of Indigenous Services Canada.

DISCLAIMER: Funding for the RED Path Project is provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada. The views expressed in project materials and outputs do not necessarily represent the views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.