Programming Connection

Around the Kitchen Table 

Chee Mamuk Aboriginal Program, BC Centre for Disease Control
British Columbia

What is the Program?

Around The Kitchen Table (ATKT) trains Aboriginal women to be leaders and educators within their communities, reclaiming traditions and increasing awareness of HIV, STIs and hepatitis. ATKT follows a traditional Aboriginal approach to education, recognizing that traditional knowledge and skills are passed on through informal day-to-day activities. ATKT draws on a theory of community change called the “Community Readiness Model,” which integrates a community’s culture, resources and readiness for change to effectively address an issue, such as HIV prevention. See below for more information on this model.

ATKT identifies organizations within Aboriginal communities willing to participate and recruits local women to be facilitators, providing them with training and support. Peer-led ATKT workshops combine information about HIV, STIs and hepatitis prevention and treatment with traditional cultural activities, with each community tailoring its own approach.

ATKT is designed to create a ripple effect in each community whereby ideas and concepts are passed on beyond those immediately involved. By participating as facilitators, Aboriginal women leaders reclaim tradition, helping to keep their community and culture alive and healthy. After training, the women leaders are able to facilitate peer support in their own communities and become active in efforts to slow the spread of HIV. Participating communities are encouraged to network with each other to provide ongoing support.