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Collaborating for Success – A Partnership for the Success of Aboriginal Students in Health Programs at Thompson Rivers University PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Collaborating for Success – A Partnership for the Success of Aboriginal Students in Health Programs at Thompson Rivers University. Susan Duncan, Star Mahara, Joanne Brown, & David Lindley. Funded by: Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative (AHHRI).

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Collaborating for Success – A Partnership for the Success of Aboriginal Students in Health Programs at Thompson Rivers University

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Collaborating for Success – A Partnership for the Success of Aboriginal Students in Health Programs at Thompson Rivers University

Susan Duncan, Star Mahara, Joanne Brown, & David Lindley

Funded by:

Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative (AHHRI)

FNHC/AHHRI BC Post Secondary Institution Gathering 2009

The campuses of Thompson Rivers University are located

on the traditional and unceded lands of the Secwepemc people

AHHRI Collaboration

  • Thompson Rivers University

    • School of Nursing

    • Aboriginal Education Centre

    • School of Social Work

  • Secwepemc Cultural Education Society

  • Simon Fraser University and Kamloops Indian Band

  • Interior Health

Aboriginal Nursing Project

  • Funding Sources

    • Nursing Directorate

    • Ministry of Advanced Education Innovation Grant

    • Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative

Aboriginal Nursing Project

  • Recruitment

  • Practical Supports

  • Faculty


Four Stages of the Continuum of Health-Care Education and Practice(McBride and Gregory, 2005)

  • Upstream

  • Transitions

  • Access and Admission to

    education and practice

  • Future practice – mentoring, culturally appropriate workplace, career development

Central Questions

  • What characteristics of nurses and other health professionals are needed by Aboriginal communities now and in the future?

  • What opportunities exist for Aboriginal nursing students to practice and learn in your community or organization? What supports would you need for this to happen?

  • For non- Aboriginal students ...?

AHHRI Objectives

  • Relationship building with Aboriginal communities and groups

  • Bridging program development / Summer Institute

  • Curriculum development: Practice Education in Aboriginal Contexts

  • Career and Leadership Development

Goals of Community Gathering

  • Share Perspectives on Health Education Programs

  • Strengthen Partnerships

  • Community Survey and Demographic Analysis

  • Identify Opportunities for Nursing Students to Learn in Aboriginal Communities and Organizations

  • Identify and Communicate Next Steps

Summary of Key Findings

  • Factors contributing to success in post-secondary programs: child and family support, financial support, affordable housing, flexibility for family and community responsibilities

  • Distance learning requires support and personal interaction

  • A large percentage of the population require preparatory programs

  • Programs should be culturally inclusive

Health Education Programs in Post-Secondary Institutions

  • Health Education Programs as Pathways for Development and Career Mobility

  • Health Education Programs for the Development of Accessible Relevant Health Services Provision in all Communities and Organizations

  • Health Education Programs for Community Health Promotion

Looking to the Future

  • Partnerships

  • Curriculum development

  • Placement opportunities

  • Preparatory programs

  • Evaluation and research

    • Recruitment materials

    • Practical Supports

    • Faculty Development

Cultural Safety Modules

A collaborative effort of University of Victoria and TRU nursing faculty, and Aboriginal persons from Vancouver island and the BC Interior

Three modules: for on-line or face-to-face learning situations

Cultural Safety TRU/IHA

  • Faculty development work is a process- not one-off thing

  • Need commitment of institution, practice agencies, and the School of Nursing

  • Positives

    • CRNBC Competencies Required of New Graduates – requires cultural safety

    • New Health Assessment Text: Browne, A.J., & Varcoe, C. (2009). Cultural and social considerations in health assessment. In C. Jarvis, A.J. Browne, J. MacDonald-Jenkins, & M. Luctkar-Flude, (Eds.). Physical examination & health assessment (1st Canadian ed.) (pp. 35-50). Toronto, ON: Elsevier. Utilizes a critical cultural (cultural safety) perspective

Aboriginal Health Class for Year One Nursing Students

Canadian history: Colonization

The residential school experience

The First Peoples of this territory

Health promotion: Working together with Aboriginal people

Designing Classes for Students

  • Work with Aboriginal community members

  • In this case – classes were designed in collaboration with an Elder

  • DVD – “The Fallen Feather”

  • Elder helped students understand more about his worldview. Help students deal with their emotions to the reality of Canada's colonial history and the Residential Schools; encourage students as “future healers”

  • Course evaluation – new information to many students; want to know more; want increased opportunities to work with Aboriginal people

  • Better understanding of current issues e.g., importance of traditional lands –”Health and Land – Go Hand in Hand”

  • Increased respect for strength of Aboriginal peoples

Nursing Practice Opportunities

  • Students work with Aboriginal communities on projects: involving families at the daycare; increasing flu immunization; lack of transportation on KIB reserve

  • Project with Simpcw youth group – view of health, views of education; encourage to consider health careers – field trip to TRU and nursing learning centre – Aunties and uncles as chaperones; Aboriginal student role models helping out; students welcomed by Elder and FNSA president; students wanting to learn about how their bodies functioned; also very dextrous handling equipment

Youth and Nursing Students at Chu Chua

BP Practice and Collages of Health

Simpcw Youth at TRU Nursing Learning Centre

Mentoring and Leadership Development

  • Students encouraged to present at conferences

  • Senior students role model and mentor first year students

  • Involve students in Aboriginal health organizations: (FN Nurses Practice Group; NINA – AGM and Visioning meeting; membership in NINA and ANAC – students meet other role models/mentors

  • We have helped several students obtain substantial scholarships and bursaries – especially ones related to leadership

Students Help With Recruitment in Aboriginal Communities

  • Important role models for youth

  • Gain experience teaching community members about health; about nursing as a career

  • Especially powerful when students travel to their own community

AHHRI Phase 3

  • Career and Leadership Development. Assist Aboriginal nurses to access graduate education.

  • Need to work with education institutes, graduates, and workplace representatives to understand transition issues and support needs

  • Two of our recent graduates have begun Masters degree studies

  • How do we replace these valued health professionals when they are back in school for further education?


  • Cultural safety cannot be reduced to a checklist – it is relational and thus on-going – it happens with every encounter between faculty-student or health professional and client; requires commitment to study the self.

  • How to work with IHA and Aboriginal communities to increase opportunities for students to work with Aboriginal people?

  • Aboriginal graduates with advanced education – valuable in the workplace, and as teachers of new health professionals – can we create joint appointments that allow practice and education to benefit?

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