CNF Launches The Journey

September 6, 2017

Today, on National Aboriginal Nurses Day, CNF launches new documentary film profiling three Indigenous nurses in their quest through education to better their communities.
OTTAWA, May 11, 2017—The Canadian Nurses Foundation is excited to announce the launch of CNF’s new 20-minute documentary film, “The Journey”, (supportthejourney.ca) as part of the Canadian Nurses Foundation One Million in One Year campaign to address health care inequity in the Indigenous population.
The film follows the work of three young Indigenous nurses, each driven by a desire to care for their people and bridge gaps in the health care system. Their passion, strength and conviction is captured in this film.
National statistics show that chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are on the rise in Indigenous communities. There is a higher rate of respiratory illness and infectious diseases among Aboriginal children than among non-Aboriginal children. Inadequate housing, crowded living conditions, low income levels and other social factors contribute to these problems.
Alex Vander Vlugt, the Journey’s film-maker who traveled to New Brunswick, Alberta, and northern Ontario to make the film says, “The biggest shock was learning just how widespread the problem of health care inequality is across the country.”
Canada currently does not have enough Indigenous nurses to meet the health care needs in these communities. Since 2009, the Canadian Nurses Foundation, in partnership with other organizations, has funded Indigenous nursing education and research that has helped nurses learn, investigate and advance innovation and leading healthcare practices in response to the needs of Indigenous communities.
“Indigenous nurses can be a powerful force within their communities and beyond,” says Isabelle Wallace, one of the three Indigenous nurses featured in the film, and a past recipient of the CNF/TD Aboriginal Nursing Fund scholarship. “They have a unique understanding and background that can make a huge difference, but they need to be empowered first. Collective focus on mentorship and nursing education programs, like CNF’s can be incredibly impactful.”
Vlyte Media and Ward1Studios produced this documentary film to accompany CNF’s One Million in One Year campaign. Production occurred in the communities of the featured nurses, including Madawaska Maliseet First Nation, New Brunswick, Enoch Cree Nation, Alberta and Wikwemikong Unceded Territory, Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Support for The Journey was provided through the generosity of TD Bank, founder and ongoing contributor of CNF’s TD Aboriginal Nursing Fund Award.
Canadian Nurses Foundation CEO Christine Rieck Buckley says, “CNF’s scholarship program for Indigenous nurses helps many realize their dream of becoming a nurse. These nurses have a better understanding of the conditions of those in the Indigenous community, and are better able to serve their health care needs. CNF’s hope is that every Canadian will watch, The Journey.”