Holistic Health Project

Carrie Martin, Holistic Health Coordinator
E-mail: carrie.nwsm@gmail.com 
Phone: (514) 816-0726

This project will provide culturally relevant education to vulnerable groups of Aboriginal women, and enhance the ability of community-based service providers in the urban Montreal area. The goal is to address the needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and their children who are affected by homelessness, the sex trade, HIV infection, substance abuse, and family violence.  


  • Offer educational workshops on healthy lifestyles; life-skills building; job training; volunteerism; HIV; Hepatitis; STI; addictions; domestic and sexual violence; sex trade and safe sex; other topics related to the project as needed;
  • Facilitate client awareness working groups to develop and facilitate workshops;
  • Create of awareness materials with the assistance of an Art Therapist using various forms of art; other arts-based projects such as a quilting project will also be used to raise awareness;
  • Coordinate volunteer placement for Aboriginal women and youth;
  • Provide traditional talking circles and ceremonies;
  • Offer accompaniments to diagnosis, care, treatment and social support appointments for Aboriginal women living with or at risk for HIV and other related diseases and conditions;
  • Provide supportive counselling and access to a Traditional Healer for Aboriginal women and their children who are living with, affected by, or at risk for HIV and other related diseases and conditions;
  • Facilitate access to addiction support groups, including weekly in-house CA meetings;
  • Offer testing and follow-up care, treatment and support through the in-house clinic as well as HIV/AIDS risk reduction counselling;
  • Create a map of health and social supports in Montreal to easily identify test sites, needle exchange sites, clinics, etc.;
  • Make appropriate referrals;
  • Organize training and capacity-building workshops for community service providers;
  • Participate in local, regional and national committees and network with relevant service providers;
  • Engage in community outreach.

For more information, please contact Carrie Martin at 514-816-0726.



Resources created by the Project


Photography project:
Visual Network - Montreal's Aboriginal Community

Visit http://www.gpfoto.ca/#!doc/cpzw

This project is being carried out in collaboration with Giuseppe Pascale, a Montreal based photographer, Carrie Martin (member of Health Committee and Holistic Health Coordinator at the NWSM) and Vivien Carli (member of Social Services Committee). Titled “Visual Network – Montreal’s Aboriginal Community”, it consists of a series of photographs that will in the end create a visual network of Montreal’s First Nation Community – with aims of being displayed via print and/or digital medium.

The project was conceived as a documentary study in environmental portraiture, each frame being composed of two main elements: the individual making a positive contribution in the community and a Montreal location that has played a significant role in the individual’s urban life. Collectively, the series will display the combined achievements (past, present and future) within the city.

Prisella Magazine

Prisella was created in workshops at Tanguay Prison with Anita Schoepp from Stella, Carrie Martin from the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal and with Marie-Paule Grimaldi and Chloe Suprenant, guest artists. The goal of the project was to raise awareness about Hepatitis C in prisons with a focus on prevention. Prisella received financial contribution from Stella, the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal (through the Public Health Agency of Canada), QPIRG Concordia, QPIRG McGill, and Alberta Street Nurses Association. We wish to thank them for their support.


Aboriginal HIV Prevention and Awareness Dialogue Quilt

The Quilt Circle is a culturally relevant project that used oral and arts-based traditions and symbolism to create messages of HIV prevention and awareness on a quilt patch. The use of a holistic interdisciplinary approach allows one to express ideas and focus on strengths through creativity to design important and effective culturally adapted messages for the prevention and awareness of HIV in the Aboriginal communities of the world.

Read about the quilt project on Visual Aids


Harm Reduction Project / CLOSED

In October 2006 the NWSM implemented a new program entitled the Harm Reduction Project. This program came to an end on March 31, 2010. The project was reinstated from July 2010 to February 2011 thanks to funding received from the Secretariat des Affaires Autochtones. May 1, 2011 the project was replaced by the Holistic Health Project, funded through the Public Health Agency of Canada.

I was hired as the coordinator and have been busy networking with other social service agencies in and around Montreal in order to provide the best possible services to the clients of the program. I am also an active member of various committees and working groups.

The purpose of the Harm Reduction Project is to increase awareness about harmful behaviors and to minimize the risks associated with these behaviors To achieve this, I now offer regular workshops on topics such as HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Hepatitis, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Self-Esteem, etc. Clients of the Outreach Program also have access to these workshops when they are held at other community organizations.

Also important to the program is my availability to accompany women of the shelter and of the Outreach Program to medical and other appointments i.e. for testing or for follow up appointments. Condoms are also available to all participant of the program.

Another project that I have been working on is the creation of a resource book for the island of Montreal that is now available for distribution.

If you have any questions about the program and the services offered, please feel free to call me at (514) 933-4688 or (514) 816-0726.

Carrie Martin
Harm Reduction Coordinator