Friday, September 25, 2009

Shinah House Working to Provide a Place for Healing and Hope

photo from

I had the pleasure of speaking today with visionary, social entrepreneur, advocate and mental health survivor, Sharon Unger from Cardston Alberta, founder of Shinah House. There are plans underway for a community centre and ranches across Alberta where women suffering from mental illness can participate in a variety of programs including art and music therapy while learning about nutrition and healthy eating. And that's not all. Women will have an opportunity to take part in the day to day activities of the ranch from collecting eggs to milking goats and grooming horses.

Shinah house is working to create places for healing where hope can be found. At the Shinah House website Unger describes her approach “By addressing the whole spectrum of life issues all can achieve improved wellness and personal growth through excellent nutrition, spiritual self-awareness, emotional connectedness, physical fitness and development of interpersonal skills”.

To learn more about Shinah House visit the website

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Performed Ethnography Disseminates Knowledge About HIV/AIDS

Performed Ethnography, HIV/AIDS & Aboriginal Youth

The University of Toronto, Sidney Smith, Room 1078 – 100 St. George Street:

Sept 23rd, 1:30-3:00


June Larkin, New College, University of Toronto

Tiffany Nelson, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto

Christine Smillie, Ontario Institute for Studies In Education

The Youth Warriors, Native and Family Services of Toronto

In this presentation we present an innovative knowledge dissemination strategy for research on HIV/AIDS and Aboriginal youth. In partnership with Native Child and Family Services a group of Aboriginal youth, “The Youth Warriors”, worked with Aboriginal actor, Herbie Barnes, to turn data collected in a study on HIV/AIDS and Aboriginal youth into scripts and discussion questions for HIV/AIDS education. The youth also produced photographs and collages to complement their performance pieces. We will discuss the process of developing the arts-based education strategy and the value of this approach for HIV prevention. The presentation will include samples of the youth performances and artistic productions.

June Larkin is Senior Lecturer and Vice Principal of New College and coordinator of the Gendering Adolescent AIDS Prevention (GAAP) Project, Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto (UofT). For more information on GAAP, see:

Tiffany Nelson is a Youth Mental Health Outreach Worker at Native Child and Family Services of Toronto. She was also a panel member at the Young Leaders' Forum for the Canadian Centre for Diversity, UofT.

Christine Smillie-Adjarkwa is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Adult Education and Counselling Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies In Education, UofT.

Christine is the Research Coordinator for the Performed Ethnography, HIV/AIDS & Aboriginal Youth Project.

Free, all are welcome, please RSVP to

Please see our website for upcoming seminar summaries and other events: