Summer students at the Union of Ontario Indians – Allie Seamont and Kate Peplinskie – with the HIV/AIDS program display.

Summer students at the Union of Ontario Indians – Allie Seamont and Kate Peplinskie – with the HIV/AIDS program display.

MOOSE DEER POINT FIRST NATION – Some 50 community members attended the annual Health Fair August 19th at the community Rec Center. Sue Williams (CHR) invited several information booths to participate such as Healthy Living, FASD, Alzheimer’s, Mental Health etc.

The theme of the Health Fair this year was “Passport to Healthy Living”, and each participant had a passport that would be signed by booth facilitators after a discussion was had at each booth.

The Anishinabek Nation HIV/AIDS and Diabetes programs were represented by summer students Allie Seamont and Kate Peplinskie.
Visitors to the booth learned the difference between HIV and AIDS, and how HIV can be spread in our communities. They also learned that women are able to get HIV as well as men, which is debunking some of the lingering stereotypes associated with HIV/AIDS. Aboriginal people experience HIV rates at 3.6 times higher than non-Aboriginal Canadians, and injection drug use is the main form of HIV exposure for Aboriginal people.

They also learned about managing and preventing Diabetes by following the Aboriginal Canadian Food Guide, which includes traditional foods.  The community members also learned that logging your daily exercise and meals in a journal can hold you accountable and help you to make healthier choices.

Community member shared that they think there is not enough awareness in First Nation communities and that Health Fairs are very useful for them. One participant said she really appreciated us coming and educating them.

There were a lot of very educational booths set up and it was a great turn out. The Moose Deer Point Health Fair was a great learning opportunity and we would suggest to anyone who wants to learn new things, to look for a health fair near you!