Guest Blogger: Sarah Callahan – Chee Mamuk – Community Readiness

Chee Mamuk is a provincial Aboriginal program that provides innovative and culturally appropriate sexually transmitted infection (STI), Hepatitis, and HIV training, educational resources, and wise practice models. Chee Mamuk’s services are grounded in community, tradition and science in order to promote healthy sexuality and to build capacity in Aboriginal communities to prevent the spread of HIV, Hepatitis, and STIs.

One of the programs Chee Mamuk offers is called ‘Mobilizing on HIV and STIs in Aboriginal Communities’. In the Mobilizing training, participants gain knowledge, skills and resources needed to mobilize on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) programming in their communities. This course is suited for Community Health Workers, Youth Workers, Drug and Alcohol Counselors, Community Health Nurses, Health Directors, and Chief and Council. Participants have a good understanding of the issues facing Aboriginal people. Participants create their own community plan and will learn what resources to refer community members too.

The training is based on the Community Readiness Model from the Tri-Ethnic Centre from Colorado State University. The model is a comprehensive way to assess the level of readiness any one community is at for any one issue at any one time.

Many times we hear stories of a Community Health Nurse (CHN) putting together an HIV workshop, only to find that no one attends. Given the amount of time, energy, and money the CHN commits to the workshop, inevitably s/he feels discouraged because of the lack of interest. It is very important that the community is ready for a workshop about HIV.

The Community Readiness Model is a great tool to assess where the community is at, and what the community is ready for. As well, it provides strategies to implement that match the level of readiness. The model can be used for any issue or change that a community may be facing. Understanding the level of readiness is key to realizing success when implementing a change.

For more information about the Community Readiness Model:

For more information about Chee Mamuk: