We are an Aboriginal AIDS Service Organization (ASO) that has a proven record of innovation, responsiveness, and commitment to all Northern residents. In response to the scope of the HIV epidemic in our community, we continue to provide support to people living with HIV/AIDS/HCV (PHAs), and address the greater need for prevention and education services.
With approximately 90% of our members being of Aboriginal ancestry, we strive to provide our services in a culturally-appropriate manner to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, and to that end legally became an Aboriginal organization in 2003. Although we identify as an Aboriginal organization, our service delivery is not confined to that specific population. We provide programming and services to anyone who is living with, affected by, or at risk for HIV/AIDS/HCV, regardless of race creed, gender, or sexual orientation. As an Aboriginal organization, we provide services through an Aboriginal lens and our service delivery approach resembles the holistic concept of the medicine wheel.
Since 2003, Positive Living North has added to our solid foundation through increased Aboriginal-specific programming and through being involved with local, regional, provincial and national strategies which are directly linked to the root causes of the HIV/AIDS/HCV epidemics.
As we grew into our identity as an Aboriginal organization, in 2003 we developed a small, fledgling program called the Fire Pit Cultural Drop-In Centre. The Fire Pit is a street-level HIV/AIDS/HCV prevention and support program grounded in the philosophy that culture and healing are critical components in reducing the risk for HIV/HCV, and a primary mechanism for effectively supporting those infected.
Through a funding arrangement between PHAC's ACAP division and the Northern Health Authority, PLN began the remote management of the previous Positive Living Northwest (PLNW) operations in Smithers in October 2008. Also, in 2013, PLN was able to hire an Outreach HIV/AIDS Educator for the Northeast region of BC. This educator, located in Dawson Creek and housed within the Nawican Friendship Centre, has expanded the geographical scope of the educational services offered by PLN. Overall, PLN provides services to over two-thirds of the Northern Health Authority region.
PLN provides programming and services to all Northern BC residents in the areas of:
SUPPORT SERVICES: includes peer support, advocacy, referrals, case management, crisis intervention & therapeutic activities to people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS/HCV.
EDUCATION & PREVENTION: provides HIV/AIDS/HCV and related issues awareness and prevention information through activities, workshops, presentations, and information booths. Services geared towards high-risk target populations, schools, correctional facilities, community service organizations, general public.
FIRE PIT' CULTURAL DROP-IN CENTRE: provides an off-site culturally-based drop-in prevention resource aimed at the most vulnerable members of our community.
PLN-BULKLEY VALLEY: within this satellite office based in Smithers, provision of a wide-array of support, education, and prevention services are offered in an informal drop-in setting.
ADMINISTRATION: providing administrative and financial support to Managers, Staff, Board, Members and Volunteers.
Positive Living North has years of experience managing programs from diverse funding streams. Due to this experience, this further cements the agency as a reputable AIDS service organization, with the ability and knowledge of how best to reach and engage the target populations. We have taken lessons learned, best practices and evaluation recommendations and amended our service delivery approach to be reflective of the needs of the clients.
As the only Aboriginal AIDS service organization in Northern British Columbia, characterized by years of experience and expertise in the field of HIV/AIDS/HCV prevention education, we know what has to be done. By acting strategically, working collaboratively, and sharing our skills and resources, we are effective.
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