Programming Connection

Sexuality...Let's Talk About It! 

First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission
Quebec
2010

Why Was the Program Developed?

In some Aboriginal communities in Quebec, including some of the rural communities that Aboriginal youth involved in Sexuality…Let’s Talk about it! come from, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol use and violence are disproportionately prevalent. Bearing this in mind, the theory behind the program is that, to adopt healthy sexual behavior, youth need to discuss sexuality and partner violence and gain access to general information on STIs and sexual health in a safe, non-judgmental environment where they can be themselves and share cultural values they have in common.

In this context, the Sexuality…Let’s Talk About It! program was developed to present information on HIV, STIs and intimate partner violence. The program was inspired by the SEXEplorer program of the Centre des R.O.S.É.S., which introduces youth in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region to information on STIs and violence.

Though the program is based on the general topics and casual, fun approach from the SEXEplorer program, the specific content and resources for Sexuality…Let’s Talk About It! were developed from scratch to specifically address the cultural needs of the Aboriginal participants.

In the current program, sensitive topics are addressed through artistic and role-playing activities to given the fact that sex remains a taboo subject among many Aboriginal youth and to show respect for participants’ comfort and community norms regarding discussing sexuality. This more discreet approach is critical to the program’s success, given the existing stigma related to STIs, HIV and hepatitis C in some Aboriginal communities.