Nunatsiaq Online (05.16.2013)
Premier and Education Minister Eva Aariak of Nunavut, Canada, announced the launch of a new, culturally appropriate sexual health curriculum resource, the “Choices” comic book, for all Nunavut eighth grade classes. “Choices,” which was developed in Nunavut specifically for Inuit youth, aims to share information and change behaviors for issues such as healthy relationships, gender identity, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and “the effect of alcohol on decision-making.” STI incidence is “very high” in Nunavut, according to Aariak.
The comic book, which features Inuit characters, incorporates some Inuktitut idioms and uses familiar northern settings to present scenarios that present sexual health choices for Inuit kids. The storylines depict the main characters finding answers to their health dilemmas and questions at the local health center, on the Kamatsiaqtut helpline, and through talking with family members about social pressures. The comic culminates with a series of 14 open-ended questions designed to empower young Inuit readers to make healthy choices about alcohol, sex, and drugs.
The implementation of “Choices” followed the Government of Nunavut’s release of the Sexual Health Framework for Action, for 2012–2017, earlier this year.