BScN, MSc(Nursing), MD, CCFP(PC)
What are the roles and responsibilities in your current position?
I have a unique practice, incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing into all the work I do as a clinician, administrator, educator and advocate. My clinical practice includes providing palliative care services in hospital and home care settings, adult hospital medicine and supporting Indigenous people who are accessing the health care system. As an administrator I work within the Brant Community Healthcare System to co-lead the Department of Indigenous Medicine and currently I serve as the Interim Chief & Medical Director of Hospital Based Medicine. My educator role includes sharing an Indigenous approach to health care for all levels of students and health care professionals. As an advocate I approach every role and opportunity with a Two-Eyed seeing perspective, incorporating Indigenous and Western concepts of health and healing to influence the design of health care systems.
What barriers did you have to overcome to succeed?
My first barrier was my own self doubt and unresolved trauma experienced throughout my life. With the support, wisdom and encouragement of my family I learned how to ensure that my spiritual and mental health were in balance, with this understanding I began to see my own potential. Along my education journey many people from within my community walked alongside my little family, their thoughtfulness in providing meals, love and everyday support allowed me to rise above the poverty that threatened my ability to pursue an education and provide for my children. As a health care professional, the most difficult barriers I have faced are contained in the health and educational systems that were designed on laws, policies and processes that were never intended to meet the needs of Indigenous people. I rely on my family, community and trusted colleagues to help me face these battles in the system daily and to remind me that the work I do is for the greater good of our people and those who will be born in the next generations.
What is your advice for healthcare students?
As an Indigenous person you have been given gifts, the world around you may have convinced you that you are not special, but our Creator made each and everyone of us special. There is no trauma, no obstacle, no self-doubt that can stand in your way if you commit to maintaining your own spiritual health and allow those who love you to guide and support you in your pursuit of knowledge.