Saskatchewan group launches cheeky condom wrappers in Indigenous languages
Saskatchewan Sexual Health Campaign using Cree, Dene, Michif languages on condoms
A new sexual health campaign from Saskatoon is encouraging folks to "wrap it up" by placing Indigenous languages and humour on condom wrappers.
"We think all health information, including safe sex supplies, should be accessible to Aboriginal people," said Jason Mercredi, executive director of AIDS Saskatoon.
The harm-reduction and outreach health group partnered with Saskatoon Sexual Health to officially launch the campaign Tuesday. It features six condoms in the Cree, Dene, Michif, and English languages and is geared towards residents of Northern Saskatchewan.
"We are proud to offer humorous safer sex supplies that are culturally appropriate and inclusive to the Metis, Dene, and Cree Nations of northern Saskatchewan," said Mercredi. "We thought we may as well do all three language groups for northern Saskatchewan if we're going to do a condom campaign for them."
The condom slogans use humour as a way to engage people in safer sex practices by placing jokes on condoms in Cree, Dene, Michif, and English, all geared towards northern Saskatchewan, said Mercredi. One design reads: 'PIHTIKWE' which translates to 'Come in.'
The six slogans were chosen by youth from northern Saskatchewan.
The campaign - #wrapitupsk - includes a new website that features information on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), HIV, birth control, condom use demonstrations and information to help people find a place to be tested.
They have also delivered 100,000 condoms for distribution in 47 northern Saskatchewan communities, with the help of First Nations.
"What we we're hearing is that safer sex supplies are not harder to come by, but there's costs associated with it, we thought we could help with it," said Mercredi.
"Sadly [Saskatchewan] leads the nation in HIV rates. In terms of HIV we're just under three times the national average," he added. "We also have high rates of STIs throughout Saskatchewan.
"We just wanted to make sure that they have the tools to promote safe sex in the north."