Award Recipient

Velna Clarke Arnault

velna-clarke-arnaultoI was born in Buffalo Narrows, Saskatchewan, a small northern fur-trading community. My mother was Cree Métis 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.  My nursing diploma is from SIAST, my post-RN degree in nursing and Masters in Nursing from U of A. I took courses for a PhD through the University of Saskatchewan and transferred back to U of A to complete my PhD.

I have worked as a nurse for over 20 years all over Canada, 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. 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 its importance for healing.

I have participated in Indigenous ceremonies across several provinces and received many transfers of sacred knowledge. I have supported others who wanted to participate and learn about traditional knowledge, always maintaining the boundaries of sacred knowledge and common knowledge.  I have chosen to live a traditional lifestyle, and value the families I’ve gained while on this journey, and I’m proud to have Elder Rod Scout as my brother.

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