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Interns

Rose Melnyk  

St’uxwtéws te Secwépemc

Rose identifies as St’uxwtéwsemc and of Ukrainian and Sicilian settler heritage and currently resides in the occupied, unceded, ancestral and traditional territory of the T’kemlups te Secwépemc peoples. She has worked in the health care system for 15 years and is currently a Program Manager, Indigenous Health with the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). Rose currently provides Indigenous Health thought leadership and subject matter expertise to PHSA program and services in support of the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategic anti-Indigenous racism action plans, initiative, programs, and policies. Rose is passionate about health equity, eradicating Indigenous specific racism and the role of Indigenous nurses in leading systems change. This is evidenced in her recent Masters of Nursing scholarly project that contributed to further understanding of Indigenous healthcare employees experiences of wellness in the health care system and how Indigenous health care employees are able to contribute to meaningful service, systems, and structural changes within the healthcare system. Her Indigenous Knowledge Translation (IKT) scholarly project employed Secwépemc methodologies of K̓wseltktnéws and Knucwetnwews  and 20 calls for change were articulated and confirmed by Indigenous healthcare providers. This process honoured the wise practices of IKT, which included Indigenous participants as full partners in the co-creation of the calls for change and respecting Indigenous Peoples inherent right to self-determination.

Michelle Padley

Métis

Michelle lives with gratitude on the traditional lands of Secwépemc'ulucw, the traditional territory of the Secwépemc people. Michelle is a proud Métis citizen. Her Métis ancestry follows her maternal line and dates to the Red River area with family names including Dumas, Ducharme, Kerr, Lavalée, Hogue, and Roulette. She is thrilled to be sharing her Métis heritage with her children and within her work.

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Thompson Rivers University (TRU) with a specialization in mental health and is currently working towards completion of the Master of Nursing program at TRU. Her working thesis title is Holistic Promotion of Youth Wellness from a Métis Perspective: The Spirit of Knowledge Sharing with Métis Knowledge Holders. Over the past 13 years, Michelle has worked within Provincial Health Authority and Interior Healthy Authority primarily at BC Children’s Hospital and Parkview Child and Adolescent Mental Health as a registered nurse focusing on the mental health of children and youth throughout British Columbia. More recently, Michelle has stepped into the role of Regional Mental Health Navigator for the Thompson, Okanagan, and Kootenay regions at Métis Nation BC.

In Michelle’s spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and sons (ages 8 and 3) reading, camping, and taking care of their family pets including two dogs, a cat, 8 rabbits and 12 chickens.

Nikki Hunter Porter 

Secwépemc First Nations from St'uxwstews

Nikki Rose Hunter-Porter (she/her) ren skwekwst te St’uxwtéwsemc re st7e7kwen. I humbly and proudly situate myself as Secwépemc First Nations from St’uxwtéws te Secwépemc, on Secwépemculecw Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc. I ground myself on the Secwépemculecw, Secwépemc land, and hear my Xpé7e, Grandfather, Bill Porter’s words, “We belong to it, and it belongs to us.” I am currently in my Master of Nursing program at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) with research interest in Indigenous Mental Health and Wellness, a graduate research assistant with CIHR Indigenous Health Nursing Research team, and Indigenous Health Nursing Lead, Mental Health and Wellness for Interior Health Authority.

Lynn (Victoria) Dick

c̓išaaʔatḥ (Tseshaht First Nation)

My name is V. Lynn Dick (T’at’usayalthim).  I am from the c̓išaaʔatḥ (Tseshaht First Nation) from the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations on Vancouver Island.  I am a mother to two children, and we live in our traditional territory. I graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Nursing from N.I.C./V.I.U. in 2020.  I began working in Indigenous health research in 2019 and have continued to work in this area ever since.  I worked in the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations as a Community Health Nurse throughout the covid-19 pandemic and focused a lot of my direct practice on communicable disease.  I believe Indigenous Health Nursing Research is vital to supporting healthier communities and expanding nursing into a holistic practice.

Christina Chakanyuka

NWT Métis Nation

Tansi! I am a cis-gender Métis woman with Scottish, British, Dene and Cree-Métis ancestry. I grew up in the rural-remote Northern community of Fort Smith, NT on Dene, Cree, and Métis homelands in Treaty 8 Territory. I hold strong connections to family, community, and the land that have shaped my sense of identity as a Métis nurse, educator, and doctoral scholar. At present, I am teaching, learning, and co-stewarding the Indigenous Initiatives Committee in the School of Nursing at the University of Victoria on unceded Coast Salish Homelands. As a research assistant with the BC INHR Chair program, I am committed to advancing Indigenist nursing research and Indigenous-led intergenerational mentorship and wellness with and in community. Mahsi.

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