Nurses are often the first and only health care providers in Canada’s northern communities. Access to education is limited for Indigenous students, especially during these unprecedented times.
The Canadian Nurses Foundation (CNF)’s documentary film The Journey follows the work of three young Indigenous nurses, all CNF award recipients, each driven by a desire to care for their people and to bridge gaps in the health care system. Their passion, strength, and conviction are captured in this poignant film.
Meet Danielle, an Indigenous nurse from Beaver Lake Cree Nation in Alberta who shares her personal story about being an intergenerational residential school survivor. “We don’t have the programs to help with the chronic illnesses that are present in our communities and all the health inequities that they face, like higher rates of diabetes, chronic illnesses, and the historical trauma that has travelled through the generations,” she says.
“We have this understanding of family, culture, and language that will help us help our people,” says Sharlene, who’s from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory in Northern Ontario.
“Indigenous nurses can be a powerful force within their communities and beyond,” says Isabelle “We have a unique understanding and background that can make a huge difference, but we need to be empowered first. Collective focus on mentorship and nursing education programs, like CNF’s, can be incredibly impactful.”