TD Aboriginal Nursing Fund Award – Baccalaureate

I am of Denesuline (Chipewyan) First Nations, Irish and Scottish decent. I have been a visitor on the territory of the Kwakiutl First Nations, on the northern part of Vancouver Island, for all of my life.

I remember when I was eight years old in the hospital with my family, alongside my very ill grandfather whom I loved so very much. He was placed into the ICU after a massive heart attack. During his last days, the angels, whom I later knew to be the ICU nurses, cared for my grandfather, and honoured the space and time my family and I needed to say goodbye to him. I remember thinking WOW – so this is what nursing is about: compassion, loving, understanding, and making human connection. Those ICU nurses helped to ease the process of losing and grieving my grandfather.

During my youth I grew up disconnected from my Indigenous roots; it has been through this nursing program that I have been able to reconnect and embrace what is deeply rooted in my ancestry and must be balanced in all areas of my being. I am in complete gratitude to the generous donors of the CNF that make it possible for me to continue on this journey.

My passion is to show that by Indigenizing health care, we are shedding the light on all people who are culturally diverse. I am able to mentor other Indigenous nursing students and participate and volunteer my time in areas that I am passionate about, and can share a deepened understanding and teaching of the changes that need to happen so all people can have access to healthcare and healing.

Mársi, Thá Huná (Thank you, live long)