What is Community Health? First Nations Edition

Hey, it’s Maria Martin! I am interning at Hello Cool World for my community health clinical rotation for my Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at VCC. Hello Cool World had the privilege to attend the Communicable Disease Workshop Conference presented by First Nations Inuit Health Branch. We were there to tweet and blog the event. We did live interviews with speakers/participants about what does community health mean to them. It is interesting to hear and see how social media has helped health care workers on connecting and communicating with their clients within their communities. For example, one project looked at texting as a means to connect and communicate with HIV clients. These clients received social support from texting because they have easy access to talk to their health care providers, receive health information and have a sense of control of their disease. Please watch the video to hear more. Thank you!

People use social media to access health care so why shouldn’t health care providers use social media to access their clients so they can meet them where they are.

Some Recent HCW health projects with a First Nation's Focus! 

Immunize BC


At Hello Cool World, we believe that for a campaign to reach the intended audience, representing real people is the best way to reach real people. As a result, our approach of working with communities at the grassroots level allows us to connect different campaigns to different communities. 

Through the 2010 LACE campaign, we connected with Lee-Anne Denault from Kamloops, who helped us recruit women and families from her community to be in a photo shoot for the campaign.  The following year, we connected with Lee-Anne again to profile another family in her community to promote vaccinations as a part of ImmunizeBC’s “I Have Immunity” campaign, which raises awareness about the value of immunization.  This photo shoot depicted a First Nations family, supporting health throughout the generations.

The “I Have Immunity” campaign uses social media to target a wider audience. ImmunizeBC's  focus was the 'modern family' of BC, which included cultural diversity and cross-generational representation. Lee-Anne Denault, recruited First Nations families from her community to represent a ‘modern family’ fitting Immunize BC’s intended audience. These families fit the cross cultural and generational representation the campaign target audience. They are real people with real stories, because First Nations have real stories that are specific and belong to them with historical and cultural contexts.

ImmunizeBCWe also produced a short video for the “I Have Immunity Campaign”, Emily Bara's story, on the importance and value of immunization for saving lives. Great-grandmother Emily Bara shares her story about losing her younger sister to influenza over 50 years ago. This is a campaign with substance and relational appeal, because stories, not statistics, are how people are influenced to take up positive health behaviors that prevent health problems. This syncs with Immunize BC vision of using stories to complement facts and statistics to share and made understandable for the public. In the end result, we had First Nations families representing the value of immunization: real people, real stories.

We also came up with the versatile logos and have rolled out several first mini-campaigns focusing on HPV, influenza vaccinations and vaccines aimed at babies and young children, as well as Aboriginal audiences

 Chee Mamuk

Wise Women PostcardsWise Women Package

Hello Cool World designed a series of package for Chee Mamuk, using the artwork of Kalaila Amia. From the Chee Mamuk site, "Wise Women is a culturally appropriate, healthy sexuality kit that provides information to Aboriginal Women. This series of pamphlets includes education and support resources on HIV, sexually transmitted infections, hepatitis, healthy sexuality, condom use, and safer drug use. These pamphlets come packaged in a small folder with First Nations art through out. Also included are postcards that celebrate women’s healthy sexuality. This resource has been updated from a previous addition entitled; ‘Empowerment, Support, Healing’." See all the postcards here.

Put On Something SexyLeading The Way

In February 2011, 19 Chief and Council members from BC First Nations gathered for a two-day HIV/AIDS hosted by the Northern BC Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Taskforce and facilitated by Chee Mamuk, Aboriginal Program, from the BC Centre for Disease Control. Leading the Way is a book that features their thoughts and recommendations for addressing HIV/AIDS in First Nations, featuring portraits by Nancy Bleck. It is available through the Chee Mamuk website here.

Put On Something SexyFOCUS ON PLEASURE

For Chee Mamuk, the Aboriginal Program of the BC Centre for Disease Control's STI Division, we created the "Put On Something Sexy" flip book demonstrating just how hot putting on a condom can be. Prepare your thumbpads for some flicking fun! The flip book was translated into French and re-published by CATIE, where it can be ordered in bulk.


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More content with First Nations focus

By My Name


Picturing Transformation Nexw-ayantsut


LACE Campaign