What’s Around The Kitchen Table?
Around The Kitchen Table (ATKT) is a program that actively engages aboriginal women as natural teachers to host conversations around HIV, STI and hepatitis education in their home communities, while incorporating traditional cultural activities.
The four day training, hosted by Chee Mamuk Aboriginal Program, provides a detailed framework for facilitators to use to hold these difficult conversations. The facilitators are provided with a variety of engaging teaching tools, games and detailed lesson plans that are diverse enough to be used with a variety of age groups.
Input and feedback from ATKT facilitators and their communities drive the redevelopment of the curriculum and overall program to better provide information in a culturally respectful manner. A large part of the program’s success and recognition can be credited to the amazing women who have been involved in the program throughout the years and the dedication they have to keeping their communities healthy.
An ATKT participant (Georgina Alexis – Saik’uz First Nation) dedicated this poem to her group:
I was born a cocoon and now I am a butterfly from afar
I am delicate and free up close
I am beautiful and brave
I have many strengths and skills that assist me through the barriers of life
I am reclaiming my identity
Through my culture, my language and my fellow sisters
Around the Kitchen Table by gathering , drumming, singing, sharing and praying the healing begins
As one individual I am in control
And as a group we are whole
One mind, one body, one heart, one soul
Healing mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually inside and outside of ourselves
We are women of all ages with much knowledge to share and to keep our circle strong and growing in size
I thank you women for all that you share Around the Kitchen Table
Chee Mamuk Aboriginal Program, within the BC Centre for Disease Control, and has been working with aboriginal communities across BC for 16 years to provide innovative and culturally appropriate HIV, STI and hepatitis information that is grounded in science and tradition.
The collective goal of the Chee Mamuk program and team is to develop programming and resources that are engaging and meaningful to aboriginal communities in reclaiming culture and traditional teachings.
Now a leading practice
It is through consistent community engagement and consultation that the ATKT “train the trainer” program met the Accreditation Canada criteria and is now recognized as a Leading Practice.
Leading Practices are recognized nationally and provide the opportunity for organizations to share how innovative strategies can achieve positive results in health care settings. In order to be recognized as a Leading Practice by Accreditation Canada, the practice must be innovative and creative, client- or family-centred, evaluated, able to demonstrate intended results, sustainable, and adaptable by other organizations.