Award Recipient

Christina Chakanyuka

CNF COVID-19 Fund Award

As a Métis nurse, educator, and (re)searcher, I am committed to using my “energy, power, and abilities in ways which will benefit family and community” (Hart, 2002, p.32). Born and raised on Dene/Cree-Métis Territory in Fort Smith, NT, I am fortunate to have strong ties community, land, and both my Scottish-Canadian settler relations as well as my British, Dene and Cree-Metis relations.

Along with my husband and three kids, I am currently living on Coast Salish homelands while teaching and completing my PhD in Nursing at the University of Victoria. I am thankful to co-steward the Indigenous Initiatives Committee as well as the Human and Social Development Decolonizing Praxis Project.

In my teaching, studying, research, and nursing praxis, I seek to honour Indigenous strength, resilience, resurgence, and rights to self-determination. Inspired by the heart-work that generations of Indigenous nurses and scholars, I have had a unique opportunity to experience intergenerational Indigenous nurse mentorship and learning-through-doing Indigenous Health Nursing and Research Innovation with Dr. Lisa Bourque Bearskin, Chair of the CIHR-funded BC Indigenous Health Research in Nursing program. Working closely with Dr. Bourque Bearskin as an Indigenist nurse scholar, mentor, “academic auntie”, and PhD co-supervisor, I am incredibly well positioned to advance Indigenist nursing research and mentorship guided by the core tenants of anti-racism and love.

The focus of my PhD work is on Intergenerational Indigenous nurse relationships and excellence in Indigenous-led health equity research in nursing; I believe that Indigenist Nursing Praxis-oriented research is a strength that is inextricably linked to who we are, our lived experiences, and “the need to contribute to changing our location from object of study to active re-searchers” (Absolon, 2011, p. 38).

Mahsi cho (Dene, thank you very much) to the Canadian Nurses Foundation for supporting me throughout my academic journey in nursing. I will not forget to give back by paying it forward in support of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion across the discipline of nursing and community-driven excellence in Indigenous Health Nursing.

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