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Working in a First Nation Community: Lessons Learned

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Working in a First Nation Community: Lessons Learned Through the Eyes of a Non-Native Nurse

Jane McFadden has been a Registered Nurse for over 20 years, working with marginalized populations, including First Nations communities. She has lived experience working as a non-native RN in Walpole First Nation Community. Through personal stories, Jane shares her journey of self-awareness, realized personal cultural bias, and learning that her life perspective greatly differed from those she cared for in the First Nation community. In this presentation, Jane will be joined by Dylan Isaac and Kathryn Smith, two members of the Walpole Island Community to help us understand the important lived experiences and perspectives of the First Nation Community.

The learning objectives of this presentation are:

  • To describe the experience of nursing in a First Nation community
  • To gain understanding of the impact of intergenerational trauma and how it relates to health care disparity within indigenous communities
  • To discuss the crucial need to foster trust as central to the nurse- person relationship
  • Reflecting on words, actions, and ways of being
  • To recognize how trust and comfort are understood in an indigenous community
  • Exploring the role of telling one’s story, sharing a meal, humor and allowing for mistakes


Dylan Isaac

Dylan Isaac is from Walpole Island First Nation and a member of the Ojibwe and Potawatomi Tribes. Dylan is a Child and Youth Care Practitioner by profession, receiving his diploma in 2018. Through educational experience, Dylan has taken a serious role in advocating for—and representing—Indigenous peoples.

Dylan’s passion to help others; dedicated to empowering individuals with the skills necessary for them to envision and create a better life for themselves.

Dylan do you want to add anything about your drumming to the bio and ceremonies? 


Kathy Smith:

Kathy Smith her GST name, Oneida of the wolf clan. Kathy's Oneida name means Makes Good Things Happen, her spirit name means Deep Rooted Woman. She is married to her partner Carl for over 45 years with 4 grown children and 12 grandchildren. She lives on Bkejwanong more commonly known as Walpole Island First Nation.

Kathy has many roles; her passion is as a labour support worker (doula). All the birth experiences she has been honoured to witness and actively support has taught her many valuable lessons. Lessons such as relationships, vulnerabilities, caring, compassion, and self- awareness. The support she gives to all family members present at a birth is emotional support which is so valuable, Kathy feels honored to share this experience with them.

Kathy also has lived experience with end-of-life care. Kathy applies the skills she has learned as a doula; Kathy supports the grieving loved ones. 

Kathy practices self-care, actively participating in cultural teachings and ceremonies, giving thanks and gratitude for each day and believe in the power of prayer and belief that every natural item has a spirit. Kathy believes that we are all spirits having a human experience. Ahoo.

Jane McFadden:

Jane is a Registered Nurse, who is certified through CNA as a Psychiatrist Mental Health Nursing. Jane’s practice has focused on front-line work with vulnerable and marginalized populations, cultural safety, trauma-informed care, and strength-based approaches to mental health, substance use and chronic diseases.  

Jane works with passion in First Nation communities, methadone clinics, ACT teams, and with people who have been affected by homelessness and sexual violence. Currently, she provides outreach street nursing that bridges gaps between health and social services through a non-for-profit grassroots agency, that supports people who are challenged by homelessness, mental illness, substance use, and human trafficking,   

Date and Time: November 28, 2020 at 1200

Approximately 75 minutes by Zoom

November 28, 2020 12:00 PM through  1:15 PM
Zoom Meeting
Walpole Island, ON
Landline: 1-800-268-7199
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