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Statement by CNA president Barb Shellian reflecting on Indigenous reconciliation ahead of Family Day 2018

Ottawa, February 17, 2018 — Barb Shellian, president of the Canadian Nurses Association, issued the following statement in advance of Family Day 2018:

“Family Day is celebrated in many communities across Canada as a time to reconnect and spend time with family, friends and the community. But this year, Family Day may feel different in many Indigenous communities — and certainly for the Boushie family in Saskatchewan, who have lost a son, brother, cousin and friend.

“The impacts of the highly publicized legal proceedings have been felt across the country. We know that many people have been deeply affected by the judgment, which can trigger so many old wounds. For many individuals, their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical well-being may be in jeopardy this week as they react to these events. On a national level, the fallout of the trial has been cast as a threat to the spirit of truth and reconciliation.

“The Canadian Nurses Association is committed to doubling down on our efforts with our partner, the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association (CINA), to make reconciliation meaningful. Nurses across Canada see the serious health impacts of inequities and injustices every day. On behalf of First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and indeed all Canadians, we cannot afford to ignore these issues or lose the ground we’ve gained.

“We believe the opportunity is upon us to encourage all of Canada to engage with Indigenous people. As we learn from the unique challenges Indigenous people continue to encounter, we will work with CINA, governments, and our other partners to establish and deliver the supports needed to strengthen the health of Indigenous individuals and communities.”

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The Canadian Nurses Association is the national and global professional voice for Canadian nursing, 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 
Lead, Communications 
Canadian Nurses Association 
Cell: 613-266-8230 
kmenard@cna-aiic.ca