This project builds on long term relationships between North Island College (NIC) Nursing program and First Nation’s (FN) communities on Northern Vancouver Island to leverage innovative systems change with the goal of addressing systemic racism and promoting health equity for Indigenous people and communities on northern Vancouver Island.
Project Dates: June 1, 2022 – May 31, 2025
Funding Amount: $359,044
Number of Student Researchers: 2
This project builds on long term relationships between North Island College (NIC) Nursing program and First Nation Communities on Northern Vancouver Island to leverage innovative systems change with the goal of addressing systemic racism and promoting health equity for Indigenous people and communities on northern Vancouver Island.
This project will design, implement and evaluate transformative reconciliation initiatives in partnership with Indigenous communities, health authorities, post-secondary education institutions and North Island College.
We will contribute to transformative reconciliation in health education and health services through offering a series of locally specific, Indigenous led, relationally oriented, wellness focused learning circles. Participants in the learning circles will engage with community members and Indigenous knowledge holders. They will learn from the land, from sharing stories and from being in ceremony together.
It is anticipated that students, faculty and health professionals who participate in the learning circles will create communities of practice with the capacity for driving systems change in health service and educational settings. We intend to investigate the impacts of this program on health services and education through participatory action research led by Indigenous knowledge holders using Indigenous research methodologies.
Project Updates and Outcomes
Evelyn Voyageur, PhD, Lead Researcher
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. Evelyn counsels survivors for the Indian Residential School Society. She has received many awards for her contribution to Indigenous nursing, including becoming one of Health Canada’s First Nation and Inuit Branch’s first recipients of the Award of Excellence in Nursing.
Joanna Fraser, RN BSN MCE EdD, Lead Researcher
Joanna has been a nurse educator at NIC for the past 21 years. Her focus is curriculum reconciliation through inclusion of Indigenous people and ways of knowing. Her research interests include the use of indigenous and relational methodologies in understanding the healing and transformational possibilities of relational, land based and experiential learning.
Genevieve Freeman, Student Research Assistant
Genevieve is a third year nursing student at NIC. She is committed to promoting cultural safety in and out of practice.
Kajenthini Ganeshamoorthy, Student Research Assistant
Kajenthini Ganeshamoorthy is from Sri Lanka and completed her master’s degree in economics at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. She has been a senior lecturer in economics at the Eastern University of Sri Lanka for the past seven years. She is very involved in community-engaged research.