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Public representative with Indigenous perspective appointed to Canadian Nurses Association board

Ottawa, July 6, 2017 The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is pleased to welcome Aline LaFlamme to its board of directors. She will serve as a public representative with an Indigenous perspective.

This is the first time a CNA board seat has been allotted for a community member with an Indigenous perspective. “We see this move as a valuable step for ensuring that this important viewpoint is included in informing and strengthening policy and strategy at the board table,” said CNA president Barb Shellian.

LaFlamme is a Métis grandmother, pipe carrier, sundancer, traditional healer, drum maker, singer and she has held various positions in the health and social fields.

“Aline LaFlamme brings to our board a long and varied career grounded in equity and social justice,” Shellian said. “She lives out her deep spirituality in all her teachings and in her daily life, and she will add great depth and richness to our board decisions as we build programs to meet the needs of all our members.”

Over the course of her career, LaFlamme has developed and operated culturally based healing programs for Indigenous people in five prisons, including the first Indigenous-specific program for women at the Territorial Women’s Correctional Centre in the Northwest Territories (NWT). Working for the Native Women’s Association of Canada, she provided culturally-based healing workshops and ceremonies throughout the NWT and helped train Indigenous counsellors for the first native treatment centre in the territory.

For more than 20 years at the Fort Smith Health and Social Services Authority, LaFlamme provided workshops in communications skills, conflict resolution, team building and cultural awareness, mainly to nursing staff. She was also the founder and executive director of the Aboriginal Front Door Society in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Now semi-retired, she continues to offer cultural workshops, teachings, storytelling and drum songs and is focused on mentoring youth.

LaFlamme joins Debora Simpson, a long-time educator and trainer, as one of two public representatives on the board.

Six other board members were also elected at CNA’s meeting of members on June 21:

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The Canadian Nurses Association is the national professional voice representing over 139,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

For more information, please contact:
Kevin Ménard
Communications Advisor
Canadian Nurses Association
Cell: 613-266-8230
E-mail: kmenard@cna-aiic.ca