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Indigenous Nurses Day focuses attention on ‘unique and important contribution’ to health care and advocacy

May 13, 2021 — As we mark national Indigenous Nurses Day today, Tim Guest, president of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), and the board of directors, are pleased to celebrate the achievements of Canadian Indigenous nurses and our colleagues at the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association (CINA).

“Every day, the work of Indigenous nurses provides a unique and essential contribution to the Canadian health system. In many communities, these nurses are the only point-of-care person representing the entire health system. They bring a unique perspective of healthcare issues, concerns, needs and cultural safety to the care of people in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

“CNA offers special acknowledgement to our Indigenous nursing colleagues from CINA, who, in addition to their clinical work, are at the forefront of political advocacy to improve the health of Indigenous Peoples. Through our partnership accord with CINA, CNA also works to advance Indigenous health and nursing. Today, I would also like to recognize John R. Sylliboy, Indigenous public representative on CNA’s board of directors, for his expertise and leadership.

“For the past several years, CNA has been on a journey of reckoning with Canada’s history in nursing related to Indigenous Peoples’ health and discrimination. We witnessed the deplorable treatment this past year by members of the nursing profession towards Indigenous people renewed CNA’s urgency to lead a meaningful response. CNA’s goals are to prevent further racist actions from occurring in health care and eliminate racism from nursing; this will be accomplished through knowledge-sharing initiatives and learning from the Indigenous community to enhance our capacity as nurses.

“In March 2020, as part of CNA’s Canadian Academy of Nursing, we launched an Indigenous Leaders Series. The goal of having this series is to help CNA have honest conversations to identify and confront colonial or other excluding sorts of structures in CNA’s governance, membership and employment practices.”

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About the Canadian Nurses Association
The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing. We represent registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed and registered practical nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and retired nurses across all 13 provinces and territories.

For more information, please contact:
Eve Johnston
Media and Communications Advisor
Canadian Nurses Association
Cell: 613-282-7859
Email: ejohnston@cna-aiic.ca