To facilitate a participant-led community for men's wellness with activity-based clubs that prioritize supportive relationships, engagement in healthcare, and local Indigenous worldviews.


The DUDES Club’s Vision is of a renewed role for men* supporting each other and their families in building wellness and strong communities. The DUDES Club’s Vision is of a renewed role for men working with each other in building wellness and strong families and communities.


DUDES Clubs are open to all individuals who self-identify as men. DUDES Club works within communities with significant Indigenous populations, and can grow to where local leadership capacity, motivation, and resources exist to support a DUDES Club. DUDES works in the aftermath of several centuries of violent colonialism, and as such many of the men participating in DUDES Clubs experience social, political, and economic marginalization.



The DUDES Club works within a context of historical colonialism and the resulting displacement from traditional land and destruction of culture, language, and healthy roles for men in society; leading to structural inequities related to poverty, social marginalization, lateral violence, intergenerational trauma, cycles of violence, and addictions. The DUDES Club also recognizes a historical context of patriarchy, which has defined inequitable and unsustainable gender roles that all too often see women and certain groups of men have marginalized status in society.


Who Are We

The DUDES Club was established in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside in 2010 and since then clubs have been set up in communities across British Columbia (see SITES).  The DUDES Club is a proven model for Indigenous men’s wellness promotion that builds solidarity and brotherhood, enabling men to regain a sense of pride and purpose in their life.


A three-year evaluation study found that participants derive increasing benefits across the measured dimensions of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health, and find DUDES a safe environment to connect and share. Indigenous men derive particular benefits from being a part of DUDES, including increased trust in people, social/peer support, and connection to heritage and culture.


Within DUDES Clubs the hierarchy of the western medical model is flattened, and the healthcare providers who are involved prioritize cultural competence and safety, genuine connections, and support to help men navigate the healthcare system. Men who often carry with them intergenerational trauma related to the loss of or damage to their land, culture, family, language, and identity, are able to begin to drop some of their armour.


The program is community-driven and highlights the importance of peer champions.

1 - To build solidarity, brotherhood, trust, and positive role models together with men.

2 - To promote holistic, cost-effective men’s health through accessible dialogue, education, and health screening opportunities.


3 - To enable men to regain a sense of pride, purpose, and fulfillment in their life.




Principal Investigator

Dr. Gross is a family physician with a full-time practice at Spectrum Health, where he focuses on HIV and men's health. In collaboration with Richard Johnson, he co-founded the Dudes Club in 2010. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Practice at University of British Columbia. 



Elder External Liaison

Sandy is a member of the TALLCREE First Nation from Northern Alberta calls Vancouver home. He has many years of volunteering with non-profit organizations and NGOs, attending/planning/organizing HIV/AIDS conferences, and participating in research committees/projects provincially and nationally.  Attribution that have lead to healthy partnerships and supportive allies for the growth of DUDES Clubs off/on reserve, rural and remote. 



Program Director

Frank has more than 20 years experience in managing and evaluating Community Development, Social Impact, and Education Programs, in 22 countries; with leadership capacity building work with over 10,000 people in over 100 rural villages and urban neighborhoods.  Frank also serves as the Executive Director of the Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture.

He is also a University Lecturer in Social Work and Public Affairs.


National Coordinator

A member of the Bear Clan from the Mohawk Nation Territory of Kahnawake. Teka brings over 20 years of experience in youth advocacy and engagement, cultural knowledge facilitation; and program planning.

Teka advocates for a strength-based approach to community-capacity building; emphasizing resiliency and the enhancement of cultural knowledge practice as innovations to address environmental, social and governance issues.

​To all our respected brothers whom have made their journey home. We acknowledge you.
Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure.
In carrying on you love, passion, dedication, and commitment for a stronger, healthier communities. 
We only hope that we continue to make you proud!


In Memoriam