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CNA and CINA joint statement on Indigenous Nurses Day

Ottawa, May 9, 2018 – As we mark national Indigenous Nurses Day today, Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) president Barb Shellian and Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association (CINA) president Lea Bill are pleased to join to celebrate the achievements of CINA and Indigenous nurses in Canada:

“Every day, Indigenous nurses provide a unique and important contribution to health care and population health across Canada,” said Shellian. “Indigenous nurses bring an extraordinary understanding of health-care issues, concerns, needs and cultural safety to the care of people in First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities across the Nation. Their work is not confined to Indigenous communities; Indigenous nurses deliver nursing services, including advanced and specialty nursing care, across the full continuum of care settings, from small town clinics to our urban tertiary-care centres in all parts of Canada.”

“Our nurses are the very definition of primary care,” added Bill. “They are the first point of contact in many communities and have a very exclusive and trusted capacity within the Indigenous population. Indigenous nurses are extremely resourceful when providing the health care required for their patients and, in some cases, are able to incorporate their traditional teachings to improve health outcomes. We also look forward to the integration of our Indigenous nursing students who will provide a new blend of nursing, knowledge and mobilization.”

“As we mark National Nursing Week, we offer a special acknowledgement today to our Indigenous nursing colleagues from CINA who, in addition to their clinical work, have been at the forefront of political advocacy to improve the overall health of Indigenous people. CNA is on its own journey to understand the truth of our history, both in our advocacy work and as a corporate citizen. We are engaging a series of activities with our board of directors and staff to improve our ability to engage in meaningful and authentic reconciliation. In all our work, we are committed to working closely with our partnership with CINA,” said Shellian.


The Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association, a national, not-for-profit nursing organization, has the mission to improve the health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples by supporting Indigenous nurses and by promoting the development and practice of Indigenous health nursing.

The Canadian Nurses Association is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing, representing over 139,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners 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.

For more information, please contact:
Kevin Ménard
Lead, Communications
Canadian Nurses Association
Cell: 613-266-8230
E-mail: kmenard@cna-aiic.ca