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Native American Initiatives
The Shawl Circle- Hokvke Yekce (Creek for “strong women”) is a new collaborative effort between the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of HIV/AIDS and The Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Respectful of our American Indian communities sovereignty and understanding that department staff may be viewed with fear and distrust when taking educational and preventive messages to the community, we have brought together respected women from the tribes, bands and/or clans, provided them with the education and materials and let them present the information in the correct cultural and traditional context for their community. As each woman completes the program, the bureau presents her with a specially-designed shawl. The shawl serves as a visual symbol of her commitment to keep herself healthy and strong.