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National nursing associations sign partnership accord in spirit of authentic Indigenous collaboration

(left to right) CNA president Karima Velji and A.N.A.C. president Lisa Bourque Bearskin signed a partnership accord during A.N.A.C.’s national training forum on February 16 in Montreal.

February 16, 2016, Montreal — Today, the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada (A.N.A.C.) and the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) signed a partnership accord that reinforces their commitment to collaborate on advancing Indigenous nursing and to address the gap between the health of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

A.N.A.C. and CNA are committed to helping improve the health and wellness of Indigenous peoples by working together to advance Indigenous rights, equity and social justice to help reduce and prevent diseases and discrimination in health care.

“Through this partnership accord, both organizations are demonstrating how Indigenous representatives and their allies can support mutual goals of improving the systemic issues that contribute to the inequities in health. Our long-standing relationship of working together allows for this mutual respect to nurture collaborative efforts that bring our Indigenous rights and collective strengths into new directions, in support of our goal to ensure every Indigenous man, woman and child be given the opportunity to live a full and healthy life,” said A.N.A.C. president Lisa Bourque Bearskin.

During their decades-long relationship, A.N.A.C. and CNA have collaborated on many areas of common interest related to nursing practice, education, policy and Indigenous health and well-being.

“Today’s signing of a partnership accord is a significant, formal gesture that celebrates our shared history and demonstrates our commitment to authentic engagement as national allies in advancing nursing and Indigenous health,” said CNA president Karima Velji.

A key aspect of the partnership is that CNA acknowledges A.N.A.C. as the leading national voice regarding Indigenous health and well-being and culturally safe nursing practice. As well, CNA endeavours to consult and include A.N.A.C. in all of its activities, advocacy and policy development pertaining to First Nations, Inuit and Métis health and Indigenous nursing, said Velji.

Through this partnership accord, the two associations will work toward:

  • addressing the structural barriers, lack of knowledge and improving the understanding and recognition of Indigenous rights in policy, practice, education and research; and
  • building the capacity of nurses working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and addressing issues such as access, chronic disease management, illness prevention and health promotion.

The presidents of the two associations signed the partnership accord during A.N.A.C.’s national training forum and its 40th anniversary celebrations — a historic event where the original founding leaders of A.N.A.C. were honoured and celebrated amongst the many guests in attendance.

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A.N.A.C. is the longest standing indigenous health organization in Canada that is governed by a board of directors whose mission is to improve the health of First Nation, Inuit, and Métis people, by supporting First Nation, Inuit and Métis nurses and by promoting the development and professional practice of aboriginal health nursing.

CNA is the national professional voice representing 135,000 registered nurses in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

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Date and time of the signing: Montréal Marriott Château Champlain, Ballroom, Tuesday, February 16, 12 noon-1:10 p.m.

For more information, please contact:
Kevin Barlow, A/Executive Director
Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada
Telephone: 613-724-4677, ext. 3, or 604-354-2570
Toll-free: 1-866-724-3049
E-mail: ed@anac.on.ca

Marc Bourgeois, Director of Public Affairs and Member Engagement
Canadian Nurses Association
Telephone: 613-237-2159, ext. 252
Cell: 613-864-1371
E-mail: mbourgeois@cna-aiic.ca