Reflections of an Indigenous Nursing Student

By: Nikkol Medicine

Boozhoo, Miskwa beneshii dizhnikaaz

As part of my University experience as a professional student and my nursing practice – I strive to advocate and bring awareness to cultural safety, sensitivity and competence within my class work and overall program. Nursing Theory is one of the multiple mandatory courses nursing students are required to obtain within nursing school. In this course we learn about various theorists and theories that have grounded nursing practice throughout history.

Nursing theory is a ubiquitous, diverse yet fundamental component to a nurses practice. As future nurses, the heart of our nursing practice is to ensure our knowledge is well informed from relevant theorists and theory models. Smith and Parker emphasize, “Nursing theories are an important part of this body of knowledge, and regardless of complexity or abstraction, they reflect phenomena central to the discipline, and should be used by nurses to frame their thinking, action and being in the world” (Smith & Parker, 2015)

As part of my Nursing Theory course, our final assignment was to construct a creative medium piece. Guidelines for this assignment outlined an artistic portion and a written portion that had to weave theories and theorists together. Depiction of my artistic rendering portrays Indigenous culture, and how elements within my culture reflect similarities of three major grand theories, and one middle range theory we have studied throughout this course. My written portion of my document provides thorough explanation to support my art through annotated bibliographies that reflect the importance and relevance of Indigenous culture and nursing practice.

D Jingle Dress Dance Nikkol Medicine
Original drawings by Nikkol Medicine: Image D – Jingle Dress Dance (Credit: Nikkol Medicine)

Throughout our nursing theory course, one theory that I have found significant value for is Roy’s adaptation model. This model expresses a fundamental basis around people and their environment as adaptive systems. Roy’s adaptation model is represented in my first art piece that portrays holistic health, and Indigenous connections to the land and animals. Within my culture, the teachings that have been shared with me involve a connection we share with our language, land and animals. My teachers have conveyed the importance of taking care of the land, giving back what you can, never taking too much of something and that nothing is wasteful. My art also depicts the sacred medicine wheel, and within this wheel the colours also hold their own representations of certain teachings, for example the four directions, and four sacred medicines. I feel my artistic rendering shares an important piece to Indigenous culture, and how learning and incorporating these values within your life, along with Roy’s adaptation model can benefit healing for Indigenous peoples.

C Traditional Healing Nikkol Medicine
Original drawings by Nikkol Medicine : Image C – Traditional Healing (Credit: Nikkol Medicine)

Another theorist this course has introduced is Jean Watson, and the theory of caring she has refined. The history of this theory was based upon Watsons personal views as a nurse and blended throughout her succeeding academic studies. One of the concepts Watson’s theory introduces is the 10 carative factors, which was established to provide nurses with practice foundations. In other words, carative factors is the philosophy and theory of human caring and used instead of “curative” to distinguish between nursing and medicine. These factors I feel weave into the gifts of the seven grandfathers, and my artistic rendering of the seven grandfathers display the connections to this theory. Within my culture, we acknowledge these seven grandfather teachings with an animal that reflects each gift. Within my culture, I have learned that each of these teachings should weave together and be part of living a good life, “Bimaadiziwin”.

Nikkol B Seven Grandfather Teachings
Original Drawing by Nikkol Medicine: Image B – Seven Grandfather Teachings (Credit: Nikkol Medicine)

The final grand theorist that is relevant to my artistic rendering includes views of Madeleine Leiningers culture care theory. Within her theory, she focuses on the essential scope of practice that believes in transcultural nursing, and ensures nursing practice provides therapeutic meaningful healing (Smith and Parker, 2015). My artistic rendering of traditional healing focuses on the inclusion of my knowledge around the four sacred medicines, which include tobacco, sweet grass, sage and cedar. These medicines are used in many ceremonies for different reasons to provide a connection to one’s spirit, and spiritual healing.

Image AHolistic Health Nikkol Medicinejpg

The middle-range theory used to reflect my artistic renderings, and traditional healing is through the use of Patricia Liehr and Mary Jane Smith’s Story Theory. The use of this theory is recognized to be important within nursing practice, as often times health care decisions that are made for patients are based upon the receiving and telling of stories. The last piece of my artistic rendering represents a traditional dance, known as the jingle dress dance, and this dance is relevant to weave into story theory. The origins of this dance stem from a story that took place within my community of Naotkamegwanning First Nations. The story of the jingle dress dates back to the early 1900’s and it involves a young girl from my community, who became suddenly ill. Today, my community of Naotkamegwanning First Nations, is known as home of the jingle dress, and the teachings of this dress represent it as a healing dance that is still cherished today.

In closing, I feel each artistic rendering represents a story and relationship within its own reflection, that overall revolves around holistic health, healing and wellbeing.

Nikkol Medicine is a Naotkamegwanning First Nation community member currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Science of Nursing program at Nipissing University in North Bay, ON.


How I Became a Jingle Dress Dancer

Photo Credit Ozaawaa Paypompee
Okima poses for her sister over winter in her new jingle dress (Photo Credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee)

By: Okima Paypompee

When I was nine years old, I decided to learn how to dance pow-wow. I saw a lot of people around me dance and it made me feel happy inside, but I was so shy. I asked my mom if could ever do that too and she said it was up to me and my own decision.

About a year later, determined to have my own, at a pow wow, I asked a man if I could purchase  this beautiful blue and pink fancy shawl dress. He told me it was $200 but I did not have that amount. Although, after some discussion with his wife and my dad, he agreed to trade with my dad his painting of a wolf and the moon.

I was so excited. I began teaching myself, whether through youtube videos or focusing live when women and girls danced. Fancy Shawl dancing, a highlight in pow wow competitions, is considered a reflection of a butterfly as the girl or women moves her ‘wingspan’ and feet lightly. It takes so much foot and arm coordination. Ever since I started dancing, I fell in love with it.

For years, I travelled with my family to pow wows, competing, receiving from fourth place to second place. Delighted for that moment, I felt my years of practice was paying off  when I received that second place win in the 2016 Grassy Narrows pow wow.

But, I didn’t want to just stop there. I wanted to keep learning. I wanted to dance jingle dress as well.  I loved the colours, the presentation, and the sounds of the cones jingling together. When I danced fancy shawl, I was still so shy, worried what others think. But I didn’t want to be shy anymore.

On my own, I began practicing the dance, preparing myself for the jingle dress dance. I began asking around of where I could purchase or have a jingle dress made for me but the costs were too high for me.

Then, on the first day of Shawendaason’s first annual cultural camp in October, Rolanda Wilson happened to announce she was selling a jingle dress she made herself. I went over to ask her and I was delighted to be able to purchase this beautiful blue, orange, yellow, green and pink dress with copper jingles.

I was so excited, so proud to be able to purchase it with my own money I saved. Rolanda suggested I dance with it at the end of the camp’s pow wow at the Naotkamegwanning roundhouse. Learning about Naotkamegwanning’s origin to the jingle dress, discussed at the camp made me even more excited to have this dress of my own. After the grand entry, I felt the feelings of shyness leave me, dancing counterclockwise beside the people I knew.

Being a jingle dress dancer means a lot to me because I love showing the skills I have learned. From now on, I want to show others how proud I am.

Like with learning fancy shawl and now jingle dress, I want to show my family and friends that I can learn on my own.


Ice Fishing for Beginners

By: Calvin Joseph

 Ice fishing is one of many ways to enjoy the great outdoors during the winter months.  Let’s face it, winter is and will always be part of our life for five months out of the year.  In years past, we’ve enjoyed mild winters and have also had to contend with this thing they call the Polar Vortex – Yigh!

One of many ways I like to enjoy the outdoors is to go ice fishing on the many lakes that are within our area.  There are so many ways to do this and still enjoy it to the fullest. Whether it is renting an ice shack for the day or using a portable ice hut, we can still enjoy the outdoors with the comforts of heat, especially during those cold days on the lake.

 There are so many products on the market today that can make the day that much more enjoyable.  Sometimes it can be overwhelming on shopping for such items, especially with all that they have on the market.  For the beginner ice fishermen, there are certain tools and supplies that you will need to get started. Here are some of the essentials that you will most likely need:


  1. Ice Fishing Rod/Reel Combo – A spinning outfit is probably the way to go, a medium 26 – 28” rod spooled with 8lb. test fishing line.  This set up is ideal because it is versatile in a sense that you can catch the smallest Crappie to catching Walleyes and the fair sized Lake Trout that are abundant on the beautiful Lake of the Woods.


  1.      Manual Auger – I started out with a Bologna powered Auger, which is fine nowadays.  They make them so well and so sharp without having to dish out loads of money for a gas powered or even electric powered auger.  A manual auger is an inexpensive item that is essential to this sport. A 6” to 8“ auger is ideal because it is a practical size for pulling pan sized fish to trophy sized fish through the hole.  You can find these at the local sporting goods store anywhere from $40 – $100.


  1.      Tackle – There are so many options out there that it becomes overwhelming in making the right purchase.  I will break it down based on the three main sought after fish that can be caught on this lake:

Walleye – ¼ oz. Jig with any type of colour choice tipped with a live minnow; good for  shallow or deep water fishing.  A bright coloured Jigging Spoon ¼ oz. to 3/8 oz. tipped with a Minnow Head based on preference and water depth.   You will mostly find these fish in 20 to 40 feet of water. Straight to the bottom is the way to go.

Crappie – 1/16 oz. Coloured Jig tipped with a live minnow or a micro tungsten coloured jig tipped with a live or plastic 2” mimic minnow.  You can also use smaller jigging spoons as well. These fish can be found in back bays finding the deepest bowl of the bay in 10 – 30 feet of water.

Trout – A silver or gold coloured Spoon sized ¼ oz to 3/8 oz. is ideal, these fish are found in deeper water so it is a must to fish heavier type tackle.  A white or pearl coloured plastic tube bait with a ¼ oz. to ½ oz. jig is an absolute must in trying to catch a Lake Trout, these fish are often fooled by this particular hook because of its erratic movement in the water column.  These fish can be found in 20 to 100 feet of water, they suspend so they can be caught throughout all depths of the water column.


  1. Ice Hut – This is optional, of course!  If you plan on enjoying the heat of a portable heater or bringing kids to this adventure, then it is always good to have a portable ice hut.  Whether it is a place to warm up or fish stationary, the luxury of heat on those particular days makes the day much more enjoyable for you, the wife and the kids.  Try to go as big as your budget can go. A 3-4 person ice hut is size enough for your gear and visitors.


  1.      Be Safe – Always let others know where you’ll be fishing and what time you’ll be back.  There are areas out there that are unsafe for fishing. Tag along with someone who knows the lake and you’ll find out right quick the knowledge to understand the importance of being safe on the ice.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the lake, they have apps that you can purchase on the smartphone – Navionics and Lakemaster are the ones primarily used in our area that will show the contours and depths of our lake and where you can locate some of the target species.


February 18, 2019 is Family Day, the community will often host a family Fish Derby during this day; they usually have awesome prizes and categories to the winners so be on the lookout for posters as this is a family affair. Try your luck and I’ll guarantee you will have fun doing so.  Good luck, be safe and good fishing.

Calvin Joseph is currently the guidance counsellor at Baibombeh Anishinaabe School.

Mentorship is the Key to Learning and Growing

By: Isaac Kavanaugh

Isaac Kavanaugh 14
Roland White drafts ideas for the group (Photo credit: Isaac Kavanaugh)

Earlier this month I attended a conference dedicated to youth of treaty three dedicated to the importance of mentorship in college or university.

Six of us high school students from Whitefish Bay attended the Grand Council Treaty Three youth mentorship conference held in Fort Frances at the La Place Rendezvous Hotel on January 11 and 12.

One of the things that stuck out to me was a presentation by Dr. James Makokis from Saddle Lake First Nation. He introduced himself in his language which is Little Boy Drum (Anishanabe name). He talked about his Cree background and how the Ojibway and Cree culture and language are similar, just taught differently and how the language is said. He also talked about the Alberta Jasper Park mountains and how you can see the marks left from the Creator and the great Nana Boozhoo.

Uniquely, Carol Easton the Fort Frances Tribal Health Unit gave a presentation about sexual education. During the presentation they talked about how to get tested and how the Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs) are all different, how they affect the body, and how to receive treatment.

The next presentation was about human trafficking and how this sexual exploitation is happening around us. Speaking about trauma and survivors, they explained how one can recover from such a monstrous act with the help of support workers and seeking help. They explained that the main spots for human trafficking takes place in Fort Frances ON and Thunder Bay ON.

They did a demonstration on how young girls get caught by the traffickers. To explain, she set up a profile of a little girl (aged thirteen plus) and within twenty minutes that profile she made as an example got 35 friend requests on Facebook from older men, she also said that traffickers will use language like “I can help pay your bills”.

On the final day, they asked us to write down our insights and how we felt. Asking what we would like to see at the next conferences, many of us across the different nations said language and culture. When asked to share from our table, many of my peers asked if I would speak but I told them that I cannot always be responsible for them but to speak for themselves – that they have their own voice and experiences.

Isaac Kavanaugh 19
Corban Crow speaks for his table (Photo credit: Isaac Kavanaugh)

Corban spoke of our table’s suggestions on the next conference locations including Kenora and Winnipeg. Baibombeh teacher Roland White spoke saying he was happy to see youth engage in wanting to see more native language. He also recommended that the next time youth be split up so that they can meet each other better.

Isaac Kavanaugh is a Grade 11 student at Baibombeh Anishinaabe School.

Whitefish Bay Predators Win Shoal Lake Tournament


WFB Predators Jan 18 to 20 Shoal Lake Tournament (Photo Credit: Rod Crow)

By: Rodney Crow

Our Whitefish Bay Predators won the Men’s Hockey Tournament in Shoal Lake from January 18 to 20. It was hosted by Stewart Redsky. We played our first game at 10am Saturday against Pikangikum and we beat them 9 – 2. Our next game that evening, we beat Long Plains 6 – 0. Our third game we won a close one 3 – 2 against Shoal Lake Flyers. Then we met up with Long Plains again in the championship game where we beat them 5 – 4. We were exhausted playing all weekend but somehow managed to win. The last time we were in Shoal Lake was 5 years ago and we won that tournament too with 7 players.

Our team is: Goalie: Everett Cowley, Defencemen: Mario Gauthier, Jamie Mandamin & Dave Crow. Forwards: Rhyse Mandamin, Eli Paul, Maverick Blackhawk, Damien Paypompee & Rodney Crow. (This was NOT an oldtimers tournament!)

Community Events – Feb 1 –March 22 -Issue 4 – January 31

Fri Feb 1 – Sun Feb 3 | ChiKeyWis Classic Mens Open Hockey Tournament | Daily Admission $5 | Team Entry $400 | Local Artisan Booths

Thurs Feb 7 | Abuse Fair | Kenora Chiefs Advisory Violence Prevention Program | Naotkamegwanning Health Centre, Healing Room | Contact: | (807) 226-2605 | 11am

Mon Feb 11 | Human Trafficking Workshop | Hosted by Family Violence Prevention Program | Naotkamegwanning Health Center, Healing Room | Contact: (807) 226-2605 | 11am

Mon-Wed Feb 11-13 | First Aid & CPR/AED Level C Course | Naotkamegwanning EMS Ambulance Base | Instructor Gabe Barnes. 1-778-686-8379 or |
$130.00 per person (cash or EMT) | 9 am -4:30 pm, with a half hour for lunch

Wed Feb 13 | Animkii Judo Club Belt Testing Night | NWA37 Complex | 6pm Wednesdays || Sensei is David Lindsay | Membership fees are $50 per month | Contacts:,,

Fri Feb 15 | Shoal Lake Hawks Open Mens & Womens Hockey Tournament | (FB)

Mon Feb 18 | Family Day Pow-Wow | Hosted By Family Prevention Program/ Shawendaasowin Child And Family Services/ Jordan’s Principal | Baibombeh School Gymnasium | 1pm – 7pm

Sat Feb 23 | Lobstick Bay Ice Fishing Derby | Whitefish Bay Ice Road | Proceeds go to Jazzy Copenace Jr. Girls Jingle Dress Special “Honouring Children Lost in Residential School” @ May 20th | $50/team of 2 persons | 5 places | prizes based on # of entries | Contact Jyles or Jolene @ 807-407-5407 |11am-4pm

Thurs/Fri Feb 21 Feb 22 | Human Trafficking Awareness Event | Wauzhausk Onigum Golden Eagle Casino | 8:00am – 5:00pm |

Mon – Fri March 18-22 | Trapping/Harvesting Course | Trainer Kaaren Dannenmann | Hosted by Shawendaasowin Prevention Services | Limited to 15 people, Ages 16 + | Call to register 226-5172 | Conference Room, Chi Key Wis Arena | 9am-4pm

Shoot for Your Dreams

By: Daphne Prince

Jonathan Paypompee line up the shot (Photo Credit: Daphne Prince)

I would like to take this time to acknowledge my dad’s nephew, Jonathan Paypompee – a member of the community. He grew up in Thunder Bay with his mother Lorraine Paypompee. He has been playing pool since the age of 13. He and his team  won the Alberta cup and have won the Valley National Eight Ball League Association World Masters Division two years in a row. It is one of the worlds largest amateur pool (pocket billiards) leagues held in Las Vegas.

He will be heading to China this coming March for his third year. His interest in pool gives him the opportunity to travel. I know that he’s been to Las Vegas a few times.

Jonathan Paypompee proudly smiles while attending a professional pool tournament (Photo Credit: Daphne Prince

With that I say to everyone: “So do what you love and shoot for your dreams!”