My People’s Blood: Indigenous Sexual Health Recovery

By: Josie C. Auger, PhD


Colonization has impacted the gender roles and sexuality of Indigenous peoples. Through unhealed molestation and abuse First Nations communities are seeing the impact of HIV/AIDS. A series of three plays were developed with a group of First Nation youth and Elders to address the impacts of the virus that causes AIDS in an Indigenous community. My People’s Blood: Indigenous Sexual Health Recovery is about giving voice to those stories that hurt, blame, and shame. Healing from historical trauma and reclaiming who we are as Indigenous peoples will help recovery. The stories are weaved together with kindness, honesty, caring and strength with the help of Grandmother Spider and the Indigenous Iterative Web created as an Indigenous research method from this popular theatre and action research project.

  • ISBN: 978-0-9919441-5-6
    Price: $30.00
    Binding: Paperback
    Date: 2014
    Rights: World
    Pages: 216
    Size: 6” x 9”

  • Table of Contents

    Table of Contents
    List of Figures
    List of Tables


    1. Introduction

    2. Context and Health

    3. Grandmother Spider’s Gift

    4. Retracing Research Pathways and Process

    5. Decolonizing Sexuality

    6. Conflict and Drama on the Web

    7. HIV Testing

    8. Spider Weaving Towards Developing Stories

    9. An Analysis of the Play “My People’s Blood”

    10. Connecting to Heart Knowledge

    11. Conclusion

    About the Author

  • Josie C. Auger, PhD

    Josie C. Auger, PhD (Mistahi-Aski Iskwew) is a Member of the Bigstone Cree Nation, a Tutor at Athabasca University, and Director of lyinaysiniwiwin Place of Learning

  • My People’s Blood is a major contribution to Native community efforts to heal and regain maturity in our conduct toward each other as healthy and functioning family members. Auger provides an informed discussion within a context of culturally guided research responding to the critical issue of sexually transmitted disease to promote community health. This research began in ceremony and culminates with an analysis of story based on Grandmother Spider as a creator of an Indigenous Iterative web of knowing. Auger examines the role and uses of popular theater to connect with youth and to promote self-reflection and community healing through Indigenous sexual health recovery. The role of the colonization of health care and unhealed intergenerational emotional trauma in contemporary sexual health are analyzed through a penetrating look at Aboriginal sexuality that gives Aboriginal voice in the critical areas of attitudes, knowledge and behaviors that are foundational to Aboriginal health. My People’s Blood is a personal journey reclaiming healthy sexual identity.

    Lee Brown, PhD

    Institute of Emotional Health
    Vancouver, BC

    This book chronicles and assesses an important project using theatre creation to uncover and challenge deep communal and personal barriers to accepting and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. I cherish the opportunity I had to witness the moving community performance that resulted. That night a group of Aboriginal young people stood tall, performing stories that revealed the courage and importance of taking action and talking openly about how communities and individuals help and hinder vital efforts for health and prevention. That courageous and unforgettable event opened the room for necessary conversations to begin, to come out in the open and be heard in public. Elders, councillors, educators, along with other community members spoke, prayed, feasted, made commitments and were heard. Congratulations to activist researcher Josie Auger and theatre artist Jane Heather for their outstanding belief in what Aboriginal youth can do – and for their creative, persistent efforts to make that theatre journey possible, a journey that changed lives. Josie Auger, who initiated and led the community action research project, compellingly presents and assesses it here, putting HIV/AIDS in the tough historical and social context of Aboriginal experience, and offering some ways forward from silence and inertia to resilience and courage.

    Jan Selman, FRSC

    Department of Drama
    University of Alberta