Kimamow Atoskanow Foundation (KAF)
Translated from Cree into English "Kimamow Atoskanow" means "We all work together."
KAF recognizes that combining the energy, efforts, and resources of our community allows us to accomplish more. Since 1987 we have been working together to address HIV/AIDS, addictions, and related issues.
KAF was incorporated under the Alberta Societies Act in 1992 as a "Not for Profit" organization. We are also registered as a charitable organization with the Charities Directorate.
KAF is the only rural based Aboriginal AIDS service organization in Canada, providing information and support services across Alberta. We are governed and staffed by Aboriginal people and maintain a distinct service delivery model, choosing to utilize a mobile approach to programming. KAF currently receives funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, MAC AIDS Fund, Alberta Health, corporate and private donors.
Denise Lambert – Program Designer
Denise has worked in health and human services field for over 30 years. Since 1987, she has been devoted to seeking solutions in the Aboriginal HIV/AIDS movement.
Her experience extends from front-line crisis worker to ministerial advisor. Denise is a member of the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV/AIDS (IIWGHA). She has served as the Alberta Representative on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network. She is a member of the Leading Together Championing Committee, currently updating the Federal Initiative on HIV/AIDS in Canada. Denise is focused on improving accountability, evaluation techniques, and intervention research within the Indigenous community. Working within the Voices of C.H.O.I.C.E. project, Denise has developed an evaluation framework that reflects the values and experience of Indigenous peoples.
What this means is that she is striving for a system of issue identification that recognizes cultural perspectives.
"My objective is to ensure that what we are doing in the Aboriginal community is useful, relevant and appropriate. It is important to ask the 'uncomfortable question' and ensure that the 'meaning' of terms and process are clear to all involved."
Ken Ward – Community Facilitator
Ken is from the Enoch Cree Nation west of Edmonton, Alberta. Since his diagnosis in 1989 Ken has been a tireless spokesperson for the Aboriginal HIV/AIDS movement in Alberta.
Ken was involved in the first healing and support gatherings for persons living with HIV/AIDS in 1990. His strength is his ability to share openly his personal journey with HIV and he is one of the most recognizable speakers on HIV in our community.
As a frontline activist for HIV/AIDS awareness and support, Ken is always ready to reach out to those individuals and communities that are under served and unaware of how to deal with the disease and all the issues that surround it.
"It's important to break down community barriers and misunderstandings ... overcoming fear and ignorance with humor and understanding."
Kecia Larkin – Community Facilitator
Kecia is from the Piikanni First Nation in Alberta and the "Kwa' Kwa' Ka' Wakw" Nation in British Columbia. She was diagnosed with HIV on September 11, 1989 at the age of 18. In July 1990, Kecia was one the first Aboriginal women to go public with her diagnosis. Now, 24 years later she is still an activist, women's advocate, and mother.
She is currently researching healthcare services for Aboriginal people with an emphasis on the First Nations Non-Insured Health Benefits Program.
Kecia has made presentations across Canada at both the international and community level. In 2006, she was a keynote speaker at the XVI International AIDS conference in Toronto.
Kecia states that it is time for everyone to respond. Living with an incurable disease is one of the biggest challenges faced by many of our positive life givers, our women. It's important to protect women because they give us the next generation of our people.
"HIV/AIDS is one of the many epidemics faced by the human race. We need to have a healthy respect and understanding for this threat to our future generations and our own existence."
The Silver Sage Healing Centre
Conceived out of a need for a safe community meeting space, the Silver Sage Centre was opened in 1990.
The centre provides a safe space for people to share their experiences and learn about sensitive topics such as sexuality, addictions, and spirituality.
The centre has 2500 square feet of meeting space, which includes offices, kitchen space, stage, and children's room.
Silver Sage is situated on 40 acres of open woodland and Sandy Lake itself is a short walk from the centre. Participants can enjoy the walking trails, commune with nature or simply enjoy the panoramic view of the lake.
There is access to cultural and ceremonial sites where appropriate.
Directions & Map To Silver Sage Centre
If you need directions to Sandy Beach and the Silver Sage Centre, click the link below.
Once on the Google site click on "Get Directions" to find out how to get here from your location.
We are the first right hand turn off of Highway 642 as you enter the summer village of Sandy Beach from the east. Drive to the top of the hill. The Silver Sage Centre is the second building on the left.
Click to enlarge the map.