January 24, 2014

Healthy Aboriginal Network's comic books

I haven't mentioned the Healthy Aboriginal Network in a while. They've been busy producing Native comic books.

Healthy Aboriginal NetworkWe create comic books on health and social issues for youth. The books we have in stock are listed below.

Financial literacy--The Game Plan. We all think we know what happens to our money--how much we make and where we spend it. And if we’re asked whether impulse buys and payday loans are a good idea, we all likely know that the answer is ‘no’. But making the right decision at the right time can be hard to do. Check out how money all finally makes sense to Jake once he relates it to his lacrosse aspirations.

Dog bites--The Gift. Dog bites are a real problem in some rural communities. Knowing what to do, but maybe more importantly what not to do, could help avoid a painful bite. It’s up to all of us to respect our relationship with dogs.

Residential school--Lost Innocence is a fictional story (but based on documented real life experiences of survivors) of a brother and sister's residential school experience in the 1930s. It's our longest book at 64 pages and has a truth and reconciliation theme.

Maternal child health--It Takes a Village. Our maternal child health book is about Lara, a young mom-to-be that is visited by Danis, a stranger. Danis teaches Lara the importance of eating healthy foods, avoiding alcohol, breastfeeding, keeping dad involved and bonding with your baby.

Sexual health--Kiss Me Deadly. A range of issues are covered in our sexual health comic book--from respect and communication in relationships, to pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, two-spirit people and sexual health as a career or youth led project.

Integrating gang youth back into communities--Incarcerated youth were asked about their experiences with their gangs. Droppin' the Flag is the product of those discussions. When asked what we could change during the focus group testing process, gang youth said 'don't change a thing. That's the way it is.'

Youth in care--Lighting up the Darkness. Jenny returns to her community after living in the city with her aunt and uncle. While visiting family, she has a series of painful flashbacks to when she was a little girl. Jenny’s story is one girl’s struggle. But many youth will be able to relate to events in her young life.

Living with FASD--Drawing Hope is a collection of five stories, based on stories told by members of the Whitecrow Village community. The stories are about struggling in school, the importance of friendships and receiving support from friends and family.

Smoking prevention--River Run is the story of a group of youth that learn the traditional use of tobacco while on a canoe trip. One of the youth, who smokes, gets her world opened up along the way.

Sports/gang awareness--In Path of the Warrior, Cullen gets rolled out of his gang and is forced to reconnect with his family and community. Team sports and culture become his new support system.

Mental health--In Just a Story, Wendy doesn’t have any friends her age and feels overwhelmed at school. Her little brother is more social but he’s quick to lose his temper and get into fights. Something is clearly bothering them both. Good thing they’re open to getting help and breaking down the stigma of mental health.

Diabetes awareness--An Invited Threat is about a family’s realization that the food they eat and make available to their community is not good for them. It’s about making healthy decisions now, rather than waiting until it’s too late.

Dropping out/staying in school--In Level Up, Terry is contemplating dropping out of school. But before he does, he’s asked to spend some time with his cousin Dave, a successful game developer. Rather than lecture Terry, Dave makes the importance of school relatable - he compares education to moving up a level in a video game.

Gambling awareness--In On the Turn is about a young woman that learns how to play poker at school. Peer pressure gets the best of her and she learns what it feels like to hurt someone she loves.

Youth health issues--Standing Together was HAN’s first comic book. It was created by youth, on the issues that they felt were important to their community. As it turns out, health authorities felt the same.

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