Evelyn is of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation, of the Dzawadainox tribe. She speaks Kwak’wala fluently. She has worked in hospitals and communities in Alberta and BC, as well as taught and developed nursing curricula at UVic and NIC. She counsels survivors for the Indian Residential School Society. She has received many awards for her contribution to Aboriginal nursing, including becoming one of Health Canada’s First Nation and Inuit Branch’s first recipients of the Award of Excellence in Nursing, and winning a 2018 Indspire award for Indigenous health promotion.
As a registered nurse with a PhD in psychology, she has extensive experience in health care in the community, hospital and in nursing education. She worked with the Indian Residential School Society for four years from 1999, where her work concentrated on isolated villages and support for former students healing from the trauma of residential schools. Evelyn has been active in the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association (formerly Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada) since 1980, serving as the B.C. representative, vice-president and as president (2010 to 2012) and is still active in the association. Evelyn founded the Native and Inuit Nurses Association of BC. (NINA) in the early 1980s to help educate those who work with the First Nations communities.
Evelyn was invited to join the North Island College’s Nursing Program to support changes to its curriculum to help bring cultural awareness to their programming after her presentation on the effects of the residential school on the health of the First Nations.