Season 2
Episode 1


December 23, 2020

As HIV-positive people, we are often asked to share our lived experiences to educate, inspire and advocate. Speaking truth through story can be an empowering release, but there are lessons to be learned and pitfalls to avoid. James Watson sits down with Doris Peltier to learn more as she reflects on the power of story's impact on people living with HIV and its place in Indigenous culture and her family.

Our episode guest

Doris Peltier

Community Engagement Coordinator with the FEAST Centre for Indigenous STBBI Research

Doris has been active and passionately involved in Indigenous community-based research, and is fluent in her Indigenous language, which frames her worldview and approach to Indigenous research.

5 Questions for Doris...

Lady MacBeth or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman

2. Acting or directing?

3. City or forest? Forest

4. Poetry or novels? Novels

5. Song or dance? Dance

Episode "Extras"

Doris is a gifted storyteller and performer, and currently works as a Community Engagement Coordinator with the Feast Centre for Indigenous STBBI Research, a national, community-driven research center responding to sexually transmitted blood-borne infections in Indigenous communities.

Creating safe spaces that allow for empowering and thoughtful conversations about HIV are important for engaging with Indigenous communities, and Doris points to a facilitation guide created for the CAAN and CATIE production Strong Medicine as an important tool.

The following photographs were provided by Doris as a way of documenting pivotal life events in her journey as a storyteller, performer, activist and researcher.

Doris is the youngest of eight children. At the time this photo was taken, Doris’s mother had just passed. She explains that she’s “good now,” but the loss of her mother impacted her deeply.

This black & white photo is of Doris as Nanabush in Tomson's Highway's Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, a Royal Alexandra Theatre & National Arts Centre co-production. Doris also won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for her featured role in this production. Notably, this show was the first Indigenous performance to win such awards.

Doris was the only female performer in Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing and played the roles of multiple women—six female characters to be exact!

Doris in Paris, circa 1963.
Doris lived in Europe while studying physical theatre and went to Paris during her study breaks.

Doris at the Healing Our Spirit conference. It was here that she engaged in a three-day mask-making session with Aboriginal people living with HIV/AIDS (APHAs). Participants in the workshop designed masks that depicted how stigma impacted them. This example strongly illustrates how Doris incorporates her skills and talents from professional acting to what she does as an activist in the HIV movement.

Doris in Geneva, where she was invited to give a keynote at UNAIDS in 2018.
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