The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is honoured to celebrate Indigenous Nurses Day on April 10 and 11 this year by recognizing the extraordinary role of First Nations, Inuit and Métis nurses who provide culturally safe and inclusive health care to First Nations in BC. Indigenous nurses are uniquely positioned to facilitate, champion, advocate and blend traditional and Western practices to provide care that is culturally sensitive, competent and safe. Every day, the remarkable work of Indigenous nurses, from nursing leadership to point-of-care roles, touches countless lives. In some communities, nurses act as the main point of contact for health services. All of us at the FNHA raise our hands in thanks and gratitude to nurses for their exceptional skills, leadership and unwavering dedication to being fundamental partners and change agents in the health and wellness of First Nations in BC. “As an Indigenous nurse myself, it is a great honour for me to acknowledge and celebrate Indigenous Nurses Day both within and outside FNHA and alongside BC’s health system partners,” says Monica McAlduff, Acting Chief Nursing Officer (A/CNO). “Indigenous nurses are poised to navigate colonial health care institutions, to advocate for equity and social justice, and to transform and elevate all healthcare providers on their own journeys in providing culturally safe care for Indigenous people.” In an effort to uplift and identify our Indigenous nurses beyond April 10-11, the Office of the Chief Nursing Officer (OCNO) is planning four weeks of offerings and a fun social media challenge. The social media challenge is designed for point-of-care nurses and nursing leaders across the FNHA and Health Service Organizations (HSO) to spark joy, appreciation and acknowledgment. Our goal is to not only celebrate Indigeneity in nursing but also to generate excitement for International Nurses Week from May 8-12.Learn about advancing Indigenous wellness in this special webinarWe invite all Indigenous nurses and allies across BC to join us for a webinar on Tuesday, April 11 at 9 a.m. with Dr. Lisa Bourque Bearskin. Dr. Bearskin is a Cree Métis Registered Nurse leader from the amiskosâkahikan nêhiyaw peyakôskân, ostêsimâwoyasiwêwin nikotwâsik Beaver Lake Cree Nation, in Treaty 6 territory. She a pioneer in research known for her expertise in Indigenous nursing leadership, addressing equity, confronting colonialism and racism, and protecting Indigenous knowledge within nursing. In this webinar, Dr. Bearskin will focus on topics related to advancing Indigenous wellness by reconciling parallel pathways and co-creating distinction-based policies.When: Tuesday, April 11 from 9 to 10 a.m.Where: Zoom webinar. Register here. Participate in the “What’s your Medicine?” social media challengeThe OCNO invites all Indigenous nurses to share what Indigenous nursing means to you. Post on your favourite social channels about what “medicines” help keep you grounded or lift you up as you walk on your chosen career path. You could share your stories and traditions, your best jokes and songs, or about your regalia and artwork. Be sure to use the hashtag #FNHAIndigenousNurse.Responses will be collected and compiled in a fun way to form a storyboard or newsletter to showcase all the essential work Indigenous nurses do! A few more great events for Indigenous Nurses Day
You may also like to participate in two events that the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC are hosting for Virtual Indigenous Nurses Day. These events are on Tuesday, April 11.