Award Recipient

Velna Clarke Arnault

TD Aboriginal Nursing Fund Award – PhD

I was born in a small northern fur-trading community; my mother was Cree Metis and my father was the son of an Irish immigrant. I graduated from the local school after fighting the educational system to get into nursing after graduation.  I have worked all over Canada as a nurse for over 20 years, and have been teaching now for 10 years.  My PhD is The Impact of Integrating Canadian Indigenous History and Ways of Knowing in Nursing Education. Through this, I have identified Identity as a key role in integrating Indigenous ways of knowing into the classroom.  I hope to bridge the gap that is apparent in education regarding Indigenous pedagogy and the lack of recognition of the significance of Canadian History of Indigenous peoples.  With the change and push from the current government, I believe now Indigenous pedagogy will gain the credibility within academia.  My academic career will be based on helping bridge this gap in a respectful manner and give credibility to Indigenous peoples history and importance for healing.

I have participated in Indigenous Ceremonies across several provinces and received many transfers of sacred knowledge. I have supported others who want to participate and learn about traditional knowledge, always maintaining the boundaries of sacred knowledge and common knowledge.  I choose to live a traditional lifestyle, and value the families I have gained while on this journey. This past year I attended ceremonies, went medicine picking with a group of Elders and I’m excited for what the future holds.

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