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.

Shoot for Your Dreams

By: Daphne Prince

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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.

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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!”

Peter White Goes To Hudson’s Bay Store

By: Allan Crow

Our mama, Kathleen Crow, use to tell us the story of how her father, our grandfather Peter White, went to the Hudson’s Bay store when he was a young man. I can relate to the story of  my grandfather. Possibly many youth today can also relate as they leave home to attend universities for a better life.

He was still single at the time,  just before the 1900s. The store from where we are today known as Whitefish Bay was located far into the north in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, nearly 1,000 kilometers away.  In that time, there were no roads anywhere in the land. The railways had appeared at that time, but nowhere near our area.

My mother had many sisters and brothers; she remembered well the story their father told them.  It was in the summer their father told them that he told his parents he was going to that store way up in the north.  He knew his parents were worried but they did not say anything; they told him to be careful. The store was so far away and it would take a long time to reach it.

He had left alone that summer from the small community, taking only his small rifle and a knife to hunt for food as he went.  Peter said he was lucky he met another young man on the way, and that he too was heading to up north to go see that store they had heard so much about.  They knew it was a company that bought beaver pelts from the natives, and other wild animal furs. Peter and the other youth agreed they would split whatever money they made from the trip.

They collected many pelts along the way.  Although it was cold when the winter came and the terrain was harsh, the young men did not encounter any hardships for they were young, strong men.  They were adept in making shelters, and setting up camp a few days at a time, hunting beavers to sell. The young men took time to prepare the pelts; drying the skins and making pemmican from the meat.  The tools they made along the way were snowshoes, sleds, and bows and arrows.

Still winter, the young men bought horses to carry the food and tools they bought from the Hudson’s Bay Store.  My grandfather, Peter White, returned back home in the summer. He had been away all winter. His parents and the community members were so happy to see him coming home.  He had brought lots of food for the people, salt, pepper, sugar, flour, tea, and coffee. He had also brought hunting tools for the men.

His parents cooked and had a feast that evening with the whole community.  Everyone was so happy.