Posts By: First Nations Drum

AFN National Chief: Justice Demands Action Now to Show First Nations Lives Matter

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde issued the below statement following the not-guilty verdict in the trial of Peter Khill, who was charged with the second-degree murder of John Styres from Oshweken, Ontario.

“The family of Jon Styres is top of mind today. We see once again that Canada has a legal system, but not a justice system. This is the third trial verdict this year that tells First Nations that our lives do not matter, along with 30 years of documented systemic discrimination and racism in the Canadian justice system. It also sends a troubling signal to Canadians that they will not face consequences for acts of violence they commit on First Nation individuals.

The treatment of First Nations in the justice system stands in stark contrast to other Canadians. First Nations are over-represented in the criminal justice system as offenders, yet their contributions to juries are not sought or welcomed. Our youth are incarcerated at appalling rates because of unfair treatment by the legal system. Justice in this country demands action now to address long-standing problems, end discriminative practices, ensure First Nations representation on juries and institute restorative justice. It’s time for all of us to stand up and say ‘First Nations lives matter’.”

The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.

Red Sky Performance presents Great Lakes

JUNE 30 and JULY 1 at 6:30 pm.

Red Sky Performance’s newest project, Great Lakes, is a one-of-kind site-specific dance and live music production that will be performed knee-deep in water on the shore of Lake Ontario. It brings together contemporary Indigenous dance, original music, and our connection to five freshwater lakes.

This new work explores our interconnectedness to the Great Lakes, water as life-sustaining, and as a creative force. We as Anishinaabe believe that water is alive. Water is our earth’s lifeblood, and that all bodies of water are her veins. Without water, we simply would cease to exist. Water is life.

Great Lakes is choreographed by Eddie Elliott, Lonii-Garnons Williams, Sandra Laronde, and Jera Wolfe, with music creators and collaborators: Ora Barlow-Tukaki, Bryant Didier, Marie Gaudet, Bryden Gwiss Kwenize, Pierre Mongeon, and Rick Sacks.

Dancers include: Eddie Elliott, Lonii-Garnons Williams, Claire Holmes, Kalene Jeans, Michael Ramsey, Jera Wolfe, and with Ian Akiwenzie, Wesley Cleland, Bryden Gwiss Kiwenzie, Cylene Marie Morrison, and Tara Trudeau, with production management by Pip Bradford.

On July 1st, 13-year-old Anishinaabe girl, Autumn Peltier, recently nominated for the 2018 International Children’s Peace Prize, will make a live appearance and participate in the Great Lakes performance.

World Premiere: co-produced and presented by the Harbourfront Centre on Canada Day on June 30 and July 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm and performed in the adjacent Natrel Pond on the shore of Lake Ontario.

As part of Canada Day Celebrations, Free Admission

www.redskyperformance.com

Viu Honours First Nations Advocate With Honorary Degree


Gene Anne Joseph, the first librarian of First Nations heritage in BC, will receive Doctor of Laws at VIU’s June 5 convocation ceremony

NANAIMO, BC: Since childhood, Gene Anne Joseph was always happiest with a book in hand.

“My parents and family would joke that I wouldn’t move in an earthquake if I was reading,” Joseph says.

Joseph’s father had an elementary-level education in federal Indian day school and her mother attended residential school until age 16. Her parents raised 12 children.

Due to their support and encouragement, the majority of their children have a post-secondary level education.

“Throughout my life my parents were my primary inspiration as they taught all of my sisters and brothers that we were expected to work hard, be honest, and support and encourage others,” says Joseph.

In 1972, she began her post-secondary academic career as one of the few First Nations students at Langara College.

Her first summer job was copying a catalogue of a small collection for the UBC Indian Education Resource Centre. Every summer afterwards, Joseph found herself obtaining positions at libraries.

When she finished her bachelor’s degree at the University of British Columbia (UBC), a position with the BC Union Chief Resource Centre opened up, and Joseph knew this was the job for her – except they rejected her application. Unwilling to accept no for an answer, Joseph boldly wrote a letter to the President, Chief George Manuel, to explain while she didn’t have the exact qualifications they were looking for, the experience and passion she possessed made her the perfect candidate. He agreed and hired her. Joseph worked there for three years before going back to UBC to obtain her Master’s of Library Science.

During her graduate studies, Joseph collected and analyzed subject headings used by First Nations libraries in Canada to catalogue and organize information resources. This work continued in her role at the UBC Native Indian Teacher Education Program (NITEP) Resource Centre.

“I always felt I was working for First Nations people. When I saw the language used to describe First Nations, I found it ethnocentric and demeaning to us. It didn’t describe us how we describe ourselves,” she says.

Although Joseph considers herself a rather shy person, “when something is important enough, I force myself to step up.”

With no precedent to follow, Joseph carved the way by creating a new classification system that uses proper terminology used by First Nations communities. In 2005, UBC committed to protect the unique system designed by Joseph, which is now known as the First Nations House of Learning Subject Headings (FNHL-SH) and classification.

“To Indigenous librarianship, Gene Joseph is an unsung hero whose professional leadership laid a foundation for the future,” says Patricia Geddes, Student Engagement and Community Outreach Librarian at VIU. “Gene’s innovative approach to her work continues to inspire the next generation of Indigenous information professionals working towards decolonizing library services and building recognition for Indigenous knowledge systems.”

Joseph was the founding librarian of the Xwi7xwa Library at UBC, the only post-secondary Aboriginal library in Canada.

“She created an atmosphere that has continued to this day, an atmosphere that welcomed Aboriginal students and created a home-like environment for them as they adjusted to academic life in a huge institution,” says Tim Atkinson, VIU’s now-retired University Librarian.

In 1969, the federal government proposed to end the Indian Act, and First Nations communities in BC were coming together to legally stand up for Aboriginal Rights and Land Title.

“It was an exciting time politically for First Nations people,” Joseph says. “As a young woman, I decided my long-term goal was to work on Aboriginal Land Title. I wanted to do something to help First Nations – to help my people.”

In 1984, she was recruited to organize materials for the Delgamuukw v. British Columbia Supreme Court case, a landmark ruling that set a legal precedent for the court’s recognition of Aboriginal Title in Canada.

Although legally defined as Delgamuukw v. BC, Joseph intentionally refers to the trial as Delgamuukw Gisday’wa v. BC as both Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Nations were represented on the case – a fact too often overlooked.

“For me, it’s important terminology as I have dedicated my whole life to trying to correct terminology describing First Nations issues and subjects,” she says.

The case holds significant personal meaning to Joseph as she was born in Wet’suwet’en territory in the village of Hagwilget/Tse-kya, and has close connections to both Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan peoples.

“Through her efforts and collaboration with the chiefs and lawyers, Gene brought the Delgamuukw case to life and helped make the rights of the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people real in court,” says Stuart Rush, consultant at White Raven Law. “She has left a powerful legacy in what she accomplished for her people and for the land.”

Joseph went on to assist as Senior Advisor and Director of Research and Litigation Support at White Raven Law for the Haida Nation Aboriginal Title court case.

In 1991, Joseph helped establish the BC Library Association First Nations Interest Group, a professional network that holds a scholarship endowment created in her name to support Aboriginal graduate students pursuing library sciences. The funding for the scholarship originally came from the successful volunteer-run workshops for First Nations community information workers.

At the time of the first award, Joseph was one of the few First Nations librarians in Canada. Now 16 Aboriginal Gene Joseph Scholars are working as information professionals.

“I am proud the scholarship has affected so many people obtaining their master’s degree. I am proud I am no longer the only First Nations librarian in BC. It was difficult to be the only person in my field; no assistance or colleagues to understand what you are going through,” Joseph says.

Throughout her career and advocacy work, Joseph has demonstrated that education, once used as a tool for repression, can be used to empower future generations. Much of her work has revolved around ensuring First Nations history and stories are documented and acknowledged properly.

“People have such terrible misunderstandings about First Nations legal rights and place in Canadian history. If non-First Nations had knowledge of our history and culture, they would have a better perception of us.”

Joseph has been instrumental at changing that perception through her unwavering dedication and commitment to build bridges between individuals, institutions and communities for the benefit of First Nations and all Canadians.

 

University of Saskatchewan Researchers Find Incidence of Epilepsy in Indigenous Population Double the National Average

Dr. Lizbeth Hernández-Ronquillo (left) and Dr. Jose Téllez-Zenteno, in front of Mexican artist Eduardo Urbano Merino’s painting Epilepsy, leaving the nightmare behind (2013), representing epilepsy surgery. (Photo by Daniel Hallen, University of Saskatchewan)

Dr. Lizbeth Hernández-Ronquillo (left) and Dr. Jose Téllez-Zenteno, in front of Mexican artist Eduardo Urbano Merino’s painting Epilepsy, leaving the nightmare behind (2013), representing epilepsy surgery. (Photo by Daniel Hallen, University of Saskatchewan)

 

SASKATOON – University of Saskatchewan (U of S) researchers have discovered that the incidence of epilepsy in the Canadian Indigenous population is twice that of non-Indigenous Canadians.

In a study published today in Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy, a team of epidemiologists and neurologists led by Dr. Jose Téllez-Zenteno has established for the first time a Canadian national incidence rate of 62 new cases of epilepsy per 100,000 people per year. For self-identified First Nations patients, the rate is 122 per 100,000.

“We don’t have the exact reason for the difference in rate,” Téllez-Zenteno said. “Some other studies have shown higher rates of traumatic brain injury in Indigenous populations. Head trauma is correlated with epilepsy, so, we think that’s one of the factors.”

Anything that disturbs the normal pattern of brain activity can lead to seizures, he said.

“Until now, there has been very little epidemiology research done about Aboriginal peoples with epilepsy. Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition worldwide, but there are numerous gaps in knowledge,” said Dr. Lizbeth Hernández-Ronquillo, first author on the paper.

The research was also co-authored by U of S epidemiologist Dr. Lillian Thorpe and biostatistics professor Punam Pahwa.

While epilepsy can occur at any age, the U of S study data indicates that incidence tends to increase with age. Health problems such as strokes, dementia, and tumours that increase with age also increase the likelihood of epilepsy.

Using Saskatchewan health records from 2001 to 2010, the researchers combined information from three different databases to gather data on patients who were either hospitalized for epilepsy or had two physician visits with an epilepsy diagnosis. From demographic information, they were able to separately examine records from patients who self-identified as status First Nations people. The Saskatchewan data was then age-adjusted to be representative for all of Canada.

Overall, inequalities including socioeconomic circumstances and education may pose differences in epilepsy risk. Future studies should explore reasons accounting for these findings in order to make targeted changes in health provision, said Hernández-Ronquillo. Regardless of the health indicator explored, Canadian Indigenous peoples have been shown to suffer a disproportionate burden of illness with poor outcomes, she said.

Over the period of the study, the incidence of epilepsy was actually in decline in Canada. That trend matches that of other countries with universal healthcare. In countries without universal health care, the rate of epilepsy is increasing.

“Epilepsy is a disease, like diabetes in that it can be treated—it can be cured or controlled,” Hernández-Ronquillo said.

The paper can be found at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1059131118302036

 

2018 Indspire Awards Will Air in June on CBC and APTN

2018 Indspire Awards Will Air in June on CBC and APTN

The Indspire Awards will broadcast nationwide on Sunday, June 24 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC, and APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, including CBC radio.

This year’s ceremony is co-hosted by Darrell Dennis, award-winning comedian, actor, screenwriter and radio personality and Kyle Nobess, actor (Mohawk Girls) and international speaker. The show was taped in front of a live audience, including over 600 Indigenous youth, on March 23, 2018 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The show features performances by 2018 Juno-nominated, Indian City led by Vince Fontaine, 2018 Juno-nominated Sanikiluaq singer and songwriter, Kelly Fraser, dancer/choreographer, Santee Smith, Genie Award-winner for Best Achievement in Music, Jennifer Kreisberg, and classically trained Canadian cellist, Cris Derksen together with members of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. 2005 Juno-nominated Asham Stompers, and 13-year old twin fiddler brothers Double the Trouble accompanied by 20-year old, Gustin Adjun join the final performance.

Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire and Executive Producer of the Indspire Awards says between the performances and the award recipients, the Awards is a magnificent evening of celebration of Indigenous talent in Canada.

“In this era of reconciliation, it is fitting that we honour the contributions and role of Indigenous peoples and look forward to the future we are building together. By recognizing the journeys and accomplishments of these remarkable First Nations, Inuit, and Métis visionaries, activists, and role models, who have – with passion, courage and tenacity – converted their gifts, energies and determination into achievement, we inspire our young people to achieve their dreams and we show all Canadians that our people continue to be an important part of the future of our country.”

The 2018 Indspire Awards honour the following thirteen First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals from across the country:

Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Gloria Cranmer Webster, ‘Namgis First Nation, BC
Arts: Greg Hill, Kanyen’kehaka at Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, ON
Business & Commerce: Nicole Bourque-Bouchier, Mikisew Cree First Nation, AB
Culture, Heritage & Spirituality: Kye7e Cecilia Dick DeRose, Secwepemc Nation, BC
Culture, Heritage & Spirituality: Theland Kicknosway, Walpole Island Bkejwanong Territory, ON
Education: Dr. Lorna Wanosts’a7 Williams, Lil’wat Nation, BC
Health: Dr. Evelyn Voyageur, Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, BC
Law & Justice: Paul Chartrand, Métis, St. Laurent, MB
Public Service: Dr. Mike DeGagné, Animakee Wa Zhing #37, ON
Sports: Michael Linklater, Thunderchild First Nation, SK
Youth – First Nation: Ashley Callingbull, Enoch Cree Nation, AB
Youth – Inuit: Dr. Donna May Kimmaliardjuk, Igluligaarjuk, NU
Youth – Métis: Tracie Léost, Métis, St. Laurent, MB

The Indspire Awards represent the highest honour the Indigenous community bestows upon its own people. After 25 years, the Indspire Awards have recognized 350 Indigenous professionals and youth who demonstrate outstanding achievement. Their stories serve to inspire our youth and educate all Canadians about the impact that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people are making across the country. Each year, the recipients are selected by a jury composed of previous award recipients from across Canada. Recipients are honoured at a ceremony, which is later televised nationally.

Nechi’s Valedictorian Jiles Potts

Part of a series of People Making a Difference for National Indigenous
Peoples Day

Jiles Potts is from the Paul First Nation. He is the youngest of four boys, all raised by a single parent. Jiles graduated from Ross Sheppard High School in June 2013, and since that time has been working and educating himself, gaining valuable life experience and knowledge for his life journey. Jiles has completed self-awareness programs and for the past seven years has been helping out at Nechi, learning from and working with the Eminent Scholars and Elders who facilitate Nechi’s cultural program. Being raised alcohol/drug/tobacco free has developed an understanding that alcohol and drugs are not part of who he is as an Indigenous man. Although Jiles lives an addiction-free lifestyle, the addiction experience with alcohol/drugs is very dear to his heart. Jiles has watched family members and friends struggle with addictions and seen children being apprehended because of addictions. Throughout his time at Nechi and working with Eminent Scholars, Jiles communicates with the numerous students attending the Nechi cultural ceremonies. As a result of being around wellness and healthy lifestyles, Jiles made a decision to become a student at Nechi. Jiles responds well to challenges and makes every effort to put forward his good intention to benefit others. Jiles is excelling in the Indigenous Addictions Services Certificate Program at Nechi. “Now I am a part of the Nechi experience, and humbly acknowledge that I have been selected as Class Valedictorian 2018 to represent the students at Nechi and share my experience. What an amazing journey it has been for me, and the awareness that has been facilitated to me has been amazing! I am grateful”

Vancouver Police Officer Mairead Kenny: Confidence in Ability to Communicate with People Facing Difficulties



Part of a series of People Making a Difference for National Indigenous Peoples Day

Mairead Kenny was born and raised in Vancouver and Inuvik, Northwest Territories. She considers the explanation on how to pronounce her name as a, “long, boring explanation,” so, mostly to bug her mother, she cheerfully goes by, “Maire.”

Mairead is Irish and means strength and independence. Kenny’s background is Irish-Canadian, Gwi’itchin Indian and Inuvaliuit.  

She spent one year of her childhood in Inuvik where she learned to trap and fish with her father, who was a part of Kenny’s life only briefly, as she and her mother returned to Vancouver.

Over the next 20 years, in Vancouver, Mairead Kenny strives to live up to the meaning of her name.

In 2010, Kenny was accepted into the Aboriginal Cadet Program with Vancouver Police Department (VPD), where she met VPD Officer Carla Arial. Arial became her mentor and today remains a good friend in her life.

While in the program, Kenny said she was very fortunate to participate on the Pulling Together Canoe Journey, calling the experience, “one of the most enlightening, positive and emotional experiences of my life. It was incredible to be part of this community and paddle together throughout the Lower Mainland with people of all backgrounds and ages.”  

Following this, Kenny became a mentor with the Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA), and mentored two teenagers.  

“It was endearing to reach out and spend time with youth who can benefit from role models and learn things together,” said Kenny. “One of our most memorable outings was kayaking with a big group from UNYA and encouraging my teens to challenge themselves.”

Kenny worked as a guard in the VPD Jail. Here, she interacted with people every day, many of whom were dealing with personal struggles including substance abuse, mental health and socio-economic issues.

“This was definitely eye opening and often difficult, but it built my confidence in my ability to communicate with people who faced these difficulties,” said Kenny. “I learned everyone has their story.”

In late 2014, when her recruiter told him she has been hired as a police constable with VPD, Kenny said she cried on the spot.  

“I couldn’t contain my emotions because I was so happy, overwhelmed and definitely anxious to start my career,” said Kenny.

Three years later, Kenny is working as a patrol officer in Vancouver on the west side. Her role, like thousands of her fellow officers in Canada, is personally important.

“I enjoy this role, regardless of the demands and challenges because I know I worked endlessly to get here and am thankful for everything I have learned,” said Kenny.

 

Willie Sellars: Making a Difference for the Williams Lake Indian Band and Williams Lake

Willie Sellars

Part of a series of People Making a Difference for National Indigenous Peoples Day

Making a difference in your community takes a lot of effort.  Fortunately for Willie Sellars, he has seemingly boundless energy.  Originally elected in 2008 at the age of 24, Willie is now in his third term of Council for the Williams Lake Indian Band (WLIB).  In addition to his political duties, Willie is also employed by the WLIB as Special Projects Coordinator and has played a critical role in the renovation of WLIB’s governance structure and its major accomplishments in the area of business and economic development.

Willie’s community efforts don’t stop when the business day ends, though.  He is also passionate about sports, and serves as goaltender for the Williams Lake Stampeders.  Recently, Willie competed in the bull riding competition at the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo and was paired with another local hero, Carey Price, who held Willie’s rope as he prepared for his ride.  Willie also spearheaded major renovations to the WLIB’s outdoor baseball facility as part of a project funded by the Jays Care Foundation.

Willie is on the Board of Directors for numerous entities, including the Williams Lake Business Improvement Association, the Indigenous Business and Investment Council, and Borland Creek Logging.  During the forest fires of 2017, Willie was seconded to the BC Wildfire Service where he served as a crew leader.

In 2014, Willie authored the best-selling children’s book “Dipnetting with Dad,” which tells the story of traditional fishing practices from the perspective of an aboriginal youth.  His second book “Hockey with Dad” is due for release in late 2018.

Willie lives on WLIB’s Sugar Cane reserve, and has three children aged two, eight and ten.

STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES

Stupid is as stupid does, art
 
One look at me and you’ll see a Native looking back at you. But if you were to hear me on the phone you’d never guess that I was brown-ish.

Because of my environment, I never picked up the Native accent. We’ve all heard Native spokesmen on TV speaking with a lazy nasal tone. I’ve met some of these Rez boys and girls in person, and when speaking with them off camera they tend to sound just like any other Canadian.

Some things have changed over the years, but it’s not easy being brown.

Do you think that federal, provincial and local politics are hard to phantom? Imagine adding at least thirteen more layers of bilateral bureaucracies on top all that. That’s why you don’t see Native owned and operated businesses on reservations.

Take yours truly; I don’t live on my reservation, but I have traditional holdings and I’ve wanted to put businesses on my property for forty long years. The mountain of paperwork alone could kill a thousand trees.

The obstacles aren’t only government bureaucracy; they include things like the mood of the chief and councilors and who you’re related to.

Someone once said that the only constant is change. I can assure you they didn’t live on a reservation.

Not to belittle anyone’s ancestors; but first it was the fork-tongued devils who took Native lands. Today, Natives are stealing from Natives!

I know that’s a bold statement, but it’s as true as the sun will shine, waters flow and the grass gets smoked.

If I didn’t keep up the fight all these years; my own people had plans for Bates land.

It all goes back to the Indian act of 1867. Basically we Natives are owned by the government, and the land is controlled at the federal level.

There was a time not that many generations ago that a Native could hunt, fish and explore from horizon to horizon. Today most Natives are forced to work off reservation to make a living.

Canada will allow myself and others, to raise cows and chickens and such on our land, but we can’t use those traditional lands to start businesses – talk about keeping them down on the farm.

I once wrote a column about reservation brain drain. Any Native with any get-up and go, does exactly that. They pack up and leave, because of a lack of opportunity.

You want to hear an even bolder statement? I can’t stand the sound of those TV drum-beaters.

All these drummers who stand in the way of mining, development and pipelines because they don’t want to disturb the land are fools!

If some business people want to backup a truck of cash and drop it in your lap, and you say no – you deserve extinction.

Here is my reasoning; this planet has been through cataclysmic changes, and it has always ‘healed’. Volcanoes, Earthquakes and asteroids have all taken their shot at this planet, yet here we stand on solid ground.

With today’s environmental laws and reclamation contracts in place, it’s lunacy to turn down a chance to fund a brighter future for your tribe, and at the same time have the resources to recapture our past glory. Not to mention the pride that comes with being self-sufficient.

If the TV drum-beaters would stop and think; they’d realize that we are one invention away from oil becoming as obsolete as the steam engine.

THE END

Please feel free to Email Bernie Bates at: beeinthebonnet@shaw.ca

 

Dr. Evelyn Voyageur Receives Indspire Health Award

Dr. Evelyn Voyageur has inspired a generation of leaders while transforming Indigenous healthcare across Canada.

Dr. Evelyn Voyageur, a nationally recognized leader in Indigenous health, NIC Elder in Residence and faculty member, will receive the prestigious 2018 Indspire Award for Health.

Voyageur has dedicated her life to transforming Indigenous healthcare across Canada.

“She was raising awareness about the systemic and institutionalized racism faced by Indigenous people long before these issues were in the public eye,” said NIC nursing instructor Joanna Fraser. “She had the courage to speak out when there were not many people in the nursing profession taking action to reduce the stigma and oppression faced by Indigenous people.”

Voyageur lived the Truth and Reconciliation principles long before they were mandated, encouraging NIC nursing students to respect Indigenous voices and ways of knowing.

“Evelyn’s guidance, mentorship and wisdom as an Elder have deeply impacted not only my nursing practice but how I carry myself in this world,” said Dawn Tisdale, Evelyn’s former student at NIC, and leader of the Association of Registered Nurses of BC’s New Graduate program. “Evelyn’s leadership and heart have inspired a generation of leaders who have changed the course of healthcare in Canada. She has shifted our collective consciousness and paved the way for Indigenous nurses everywhere.”

Voyageur also influenced the development of NIC field schools to Kingcome and Rivers Inlets, giving student nurses and faculty from across Western Canada, physicians and professionals the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal health and healing from Elders in remote coastal communities.

“Dr. Voyageur is a strong supporter of a community-led health system,” said Fraser. “With her guidance this field school has been developed in relationship with community – with respect for Wuikinuxv protocols and knowledge.”

Her advocacy is recognized nationwide. In addition to the Indspire Award, Voyageur has earned a College of Registered Nurses of BC Lifetime Achievement Award, was named as one of the top 150 nurses across Canada and received an Award of Excellence in Nursing from Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Branch.

She is active in the Vancouver Island Health Authority Aboriginal Working Group, the New Hospital Projects Aboriginal Advisory Committee, the Ministry of Children and Families Aboriginal Advisory Group, the Canadians Seeking Solutions and Innovations to Overcome Chronic Kidney Disease (Can-SOLVE CKD) network and more.

“I have witnessed her ability to empower and mentor First Nations people to use their traditional knowledge and values in working toward the health of their own communities,” said Fraser. “For me, there has been no greater nurse, mentor and teacher in my life. She shares herself generously as a teacher and knowledge keeper.”

Learn more about NIC’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at www.nic.bc.ca/health and view Dr. Voyageur’s full profile at www.nic.bc.ca/faculty.