Healing Inner Voices: An Indigenous Peer-Led Project to reduce stigma, build community and create cultural safety.
In honour of AIDS Awareness Week 2021, kicking off with World AIDS Day on December 1st, we are offering a chance to see Healing Inner Voices online until December 7. You can also book virtual workshops led by Peers in the film Healing Inner Voices, which highlights the lived experiences and voices of eight Indigenous people living with HIV. If your organization is interested in hosting a virtual event, with Martin Morberg – project creator, and several of the other indigenous Peers within the film, fill out our booking form.
“It was only through my own healing that I was able to break through that intersection of stigmas that was placed on me.”
~ Martin Morberg, Project Creator, Indigenous Peer
HIV: Healing Inner Voices is a peer-led indigenous collaborative film that addresses the issue of stigma through the voices and experiences of eight Indigenous people living with HIV. Not a typical health documentary, the 29 minute short documentary is made by and for Indigenous people living with HIV. The film focuses on reflecting the voices of the participants, all Indigenous people who have faced stigma in one way or another.
If an individual feels that they are not worthy of medications, then they will stop using them. They are loved, no matter who they are. Love is something that’s not fully understood.
~ The late AJ Lowhorn, Indigenous Peer, Film Participant
“Stigma won’t live in my world” says Val Nicholson, one of the participants in HIV: Healing Inner Voices . These days, a diagnosis of HIV is no longer an automatic death sentence. But more than the disease, stigma is the epidemic when it comes to HIV. And it’s the stigma that is the killer. And a diagnosis is still a hugely traumatizing experience, especially for those in remote communities.
“The longest distance I’ve had to travel, is from my head to my heart.”
~ Aaron Jackson, Indigenous Peer, Film Participant
Stigma is the Issue we are tackling.
I internalized and stigmatized myself. Really bad for the first 5 or 6 years. I had fear of being unlovable, of being disrespected. The fear of being outed for my HIV.
~ Flo Ranville, Indigenous Peer, Film Participant
Our film is filling a huge gap when it comes to stigma. Rural communities have very little access to Indigenous perspectives and people living with HIV/AIDS. This lack of understanding around HIV issues contributes to the fear and stigma of HIV/AIDS. It is our goal to bring ourselves, our stories, our lives and our teachings to these communities. We want to share our lived experiences to show what we’ve done, how we’ve healed, how we’ve been empowered, how we are moving forward, helping others and living healthy lives.
HIV stigma and discrimination cause:
- Lower testing rates amongst people who are at risk of HIV
- Lower rates of people living with HIV seeking treatment, care, and support
- Higher rates of people living with HIV feeling isolation, thus being silent about HIV and in turn creating the ideal conditions for HIV to continue to spread
If you have not seen the film, and need to see it before you decide if you want to book it for your community as a workshop, until December 7th we have a special opportunity to watch it on the Cool.World Platform with a sliding scale for tickets. All ticket sales support fundraising for a community tour once COVID is finally over.
We also welcome your donations to support our Peer-led grassroots distribution model!