CanHepC Indigenous National and Prairie Roadmaps

The waniska Centre is the spearheading organization for the Indigenous National Roadmap and the Prairie Region Roadmap, which includes Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Dr. Alexandra King, MD, FRCPC, Clinician researcher and Cameco Chair of Indigenous Health at the University of Saskatchewan, from the Nipissing First Nation, will work with Renée Masching, Director of Research and Policy at the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN), on the Indigenous National Roadmap.

Dr. King will work with Carrielynn Lund, a project coordinator with the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, Communities Alliances and Networks (CAAN). Lund has lived experience with hepatitis C and will provide valuable knowledge and experience to inform the project.

Other regions include British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, an Atlantic region (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island), and a Northern region (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon).

The Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (CanHepC), a national CIHR-funded research and training network, wants to collaborate with people and organizations from different regions of the country, building moment on the Blueprint to inform hepatitis C elimination efforts in Canada. These groups then gather to address and share region-specific and Indigenous-specific progress, good practices, lessons learned, successes and challenges so Canada reaches the elimination of viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.

Recent data is showing Canada could be on track to reach hepatitis C elimination targets, but high treatment rates need to be maintained as well as ongoing focus on comprehensive and accessible hepatitis C prevention, testing and treatment for the priority groups that are most disproportionately affected. Additionally, the Roadmaps must highlight strategies for reaching those who are not reached by the conventional, high-tech environment of care and include an emphasis on harm reduction and cultural safety.

An objective of each roadmap region is to lead a collaborative process in which program planners, government policy and decision makers, healthcare providers, public health practitioners, researchers, people with lived/living experience of hepatitis C and other stakeholders reach a consensus on priority recommendations towards elimination efforts and mobilize partners around shared priorities and actions to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030.

The main goals of each region are identifying recommendations and possible actions that can be used by policy/program makers in the development of a hepatitis C elimination plan and outlining a regional/Indigenous high-level roadmap or framework to guide implementation, including a method for tracking progress on elimination efforts through 2030.