The Tlicho Healing Wind Project was a community based research project designed to develop sexual health intervention strategies for the Tlicho communities of the NWT. In 2007, in response to a high rate of sexually transmitted infections in the region, multidisciplinary team of educators, social workers and healthcare staff from the Tlicho Community Services Agency came together in a collaborative process with elders and youth, and university based research partners to work on the project.
The Tlicho Healing Wind Project included a variety of interventions over several years including community outreach and information, peer teaching and the creation of teaching videos for teenagers, condom distribution, the refocusing of Health Centre practices and the development of a community action research capacity (CART Team) with a group of Tlicho youth. By the fall of 2010, the Healing Wind project had been demonstrably effective in dramatically lowering infections in the region. The model of community based intervention developed by the project had an impact on other public health initiatives of the Agency as well, including response to MRSA infection. Development of the research and communications capacity of the CART team has made important contributions to other community issues such as lateral violence, youth outreach and addictions.
Cecilia Zoe-Martin is an educator and counselor in the Chief Jimmy Bruneau High School in Behchoko, and was one of the leaders of the community based team and a member of the Healing Wind Steering Committee. Jim Martin, now a Sr. Policy Advisor with the Tlicho Government, was the CEO of the Tlicho Community Services Agency during the project and has participated in the documentation of the project with the publication of research on the issues and characteristics of successful community intervention.
About the Speaker Series:
The Aurora College Speaker Series was developed to strengthen the public’s awareness of research taking place in the North and engage Northerners in a research dialogue. As well, it was created to provide opportunities for Northern youth to access research and researchers, and hopefully inspire them to seek out opportunities to participate in research. The series features three northern-themed scientific sessions – one looking at Health or Social Science, one covering Natural or Physical Science and one focussing on Indigenous Knowledge and will be presented at the three campuses of Aurora College in the Northwest Territories (Inuvik, Yellowknife and Fort Smith). Funding for the Speaker Series has been made possible thanks to generous support from Conoco Phillips.