Celebrating Indigenous Nurses during National Nursing Week


Ottawa, Ontario (May 6, 2024) — The Minister of Indigenous Services, Patty Hajdu, issued the following statement today:

“When Lindsay Iron graduated from her university nursing program, she was driven by a single goal: to return home and serve her people. Since then, Lindsay, an Indigenous nurse, has been dedicated to serving First Nations communities in northern Saskatchewan. Although she’s faced adversities and challenges along her journey, Lindsay persevered in her dreams and is now proud to be contributing to healthier futures for Indigenous Peoples.

Today, on Indigenous Nurses Day and at the start of National Nursing Week, we celebrate the unique perspectives, contributions, and dedication that Indigenous nurses—like Lindsay—bring to our healthcare system in communities and across the country.

It’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis nurses who play an essential role in establishing culturally safe, culturally appropriate healthcare services and programs. By continuing to increase Indigenous representation in health professions, we can transform our healthcare systems to meet the needs of Indigenous Peoples. With Indigenous healthcare practitioners at the forefront of our efforts, and with traditional Indigenous healing integrated into our approaches, we can work together toward improved health outcomes for Indigenous communities across Canada.

This year’s theme, ‘Changing Lives. Shaping Tomorrow’, encompasses that sentiment. In Indigenous communities, nurses are the main point of contact in health centres and nursing facilities, and they directly impact their patients’ lives and overall wellbeing. Indigenous nurses in particular are advocates, health teachers, and healers who bring their passion, expertise, and cultural knowledge to their practices.

To safely administer health services, we must eliminate racism within our healthcare system and actively close the health infrastructure gaps. And that’s exactly what Indigenous nurses are doing: leading this change and shaping new, innovative, and holistic approaches to healthcare delivery for communities. With their mentorship and guidance, Indigenous nurses today are ensuring a positive future for generations of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis nurses yet to come.

For Lindsay, she hopes her story shows Indigenous Peoples they can achieve their goals. And even more so, she believes that Indigenous Peoples can do anything they set their minds to.

So for all the Indigenous nurses, nursing students, and Indigenous Peoples with a dream to deliver healthcare, we encourage and support you in your work ahead. And for all nurses making a difference during National Nursing Week, we thank you, we salute you, and we honour you for building a brighter, healthier future for us all.”


For more information, media may contact:

Jennifer Kozelj
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

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