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Saskatoon nursing students receive truth and reconciliation lanyard cards

Inspiring Truth and Reconciliation

USask College of Nursing staff, faculty and students receive cards to inspire their journey with truth and reconciliation.

University of Saskatchewan (USask) College of Nursing Assistant Professor Dr. Holly Graham (PhD) wants to invite all Canadians to undertake their personal and professional journey with truth and reconciliation by responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action.

In April 2020, Dr. Graham was awarded an Indigenous Research Chair in Nursing. The goal for this research chair is to improve Indigenous (First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples) health by focusing on mentorship and reconciliation. This fall, as part of her chair's work, Dr. Graham is gifting lanyard cards to students (undergraduate and graduate), staff, and faculty in the College of Nursing at USask.

As important as the truth is, it is the individual and collective actions that will ultimately make a difference. It is her hope all Canadians will use this card or anything else that inspires their personal and professional journey with truth and reconciliation.

As is the case with many truth and reconciliation projects, this card was developed by the collective efforts of many people who carefully reflected on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action. The Calls to Action have inspired many Canadians to learn about the history of the relationship between Indigenous (First Nation, Métis, and Inuit) and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Collectively, the USask Health Science Colleges wanted to do something transdisciplinary in response to the TRC calls to action. They established the planning committee for the 2018 Gathering for miyomahcihowin (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being) (the Gathering) and allocated staff to support the event. Dr. Graham and Dr. Jaris Swidrovich, USask College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, co-chaired the planning committee and were supported by Crystal Maslin, Special Project Coordinator. The planning committee discussed meaningful gifts for the participants; the idea of creating a lanyard card was initially inspired by Val Arnault-Pelletier, USask College of Medicine, who had attended a conference in Australia, which gave a similar card to attendees. The card that is being gifted to USask College of Nursing by Dr. Graham has its roots in these events.

The hope was that 2018 Gathering participants would take the lanyard card (as above) as a foundation to begin their journey with truth and reconciliation. The card was created to provide concrete examples of meaningful ways to genuinely engage with First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples. It is important to remember this is a starting point to create awareness and conversations about truth and reconciliation using the 5 Rs as the foundation - respect, reciprocity, relevance, responsible engagement, and relationships - for personal and professional reflection and action. The card was warmly received and repeatedly requested by individuals, front-line workers, and agencies. The Canadian Nurses Association and the USask College of Medicine were each inspired by this card and created their own versions in 2018-19.

In 2019, the Gathering planning committee was re-established and began work on the 2020 Gathering for miyomahcihowin and mii yoo naa kaa twayh ta mihk. The lanyard card was further refined and intended as a gift for conference participants. While the 2020 Gathering was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is hoped these cards once again create resonance in the community. The version of the card that is being gifted to the USask College of Nursing (as below) was created by the Gathering planning committee for the 2020 Gathering.

 

Together Dr. Graham and Crystal Maslin envision the lanyard card being shared widely across Saskatchewan and wish to recognize the support, creative energy, and commitment to reconciliation of the planning committee members listed below.

Committee Members of the 2018 Gathering for miyomahcihowin

  • Co-Chairs: Holly Graham & Dr. Jaris Swidrovich
  • Project Coordinator: Crystal Maslin, USask Office of the Vice Provost Health
  • Sylvia Abonyi, USask College of Medicine, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology
  • Val Arnault-Pelletier, USask College of Medicine
  • Lois Berry, USask Office of the Vice Provost Health
  • Angela Bowen, USask College of Nursing
  • Stryker Calvez, USask Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning
  • Sharon Clarke, Saskatchewan Health Authority
  • Susan Fillo, USask Office of the Vice Provost Health
  • Elder Norman Fleury, USask College of Education
  • Gabe Lafond, Saskatchewan Health Authority
  • Tania Lafontaine, Saskatchewan Health Authority
  • Matthew Miskocheegun-Donkey, Saskatchewan Health Authority
  • Vikram Misra, USask Western College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Susan Murphy, USask University Library
  • Allison Piche, Saskatchewan Indigenous Mentorship Network
  • Michael Szafron, USask School of Public Health

Committee Members of the 2020 Gathering for miyomahcihowin and mii yoo naa kaa twayh ta mihk

  • Co-Chairs: Holly Graham & Calvert Chiefcalf
  • Project Coordinator: Crystal Maslin, USask College of Nursing
  • Sylvia Abonyi, USask College of Medicine, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology
  • Val Arnault-Pelletier, USask College of Medicine
  • Matthew Dunn, USask Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement
  • Susan Fillo, USask Health Sciences
  • Elder Norman Fleury, USask College of Education
  • Heather Foulds, USask College of Kinesiology
  • Diane Martz, USask International Research and Partnerships
  • Susan Murphy, USask University Library
  • Veronica McKinney, MD, Northern Medical Services
  • Tammy Morrison, USask College of Nursing
  • Adel Panahi, Métis Nation – Saskatchewan
  • Allison Piché, Saskatchewan Indigenous Mentorship Network
  • Collin Semenoff, USask Health Sciences (2020 Card Designer)
  • Aly Sibley, USask Health Sciences
  • Yvonne Tessier, Saskatchewan Health Authority
  • Lisa Woods, USask Health Sciences
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