January 1, 2021
What are the selection criteria for the award?
- partners with researchers, policy-makers, and health care providers for the betterment of Indigenous health;
- demonstrates leadership, innovation, and creativity in their work with Can-SOLVE CKD and beyond;
- demonstrates leadership, integrity, respect, and a strong will for change
Howard was a patient partner and member of the Indigenous Peoples’ Engagement and Research Council who was known throughout the network as a strong and passionate voice for those living with kidney disease.
Howard brought many remarkable attributes to the network, including his exceptional candor and a willingness to speak honestly and openly, whether addressing fellow patients or a conference hall full of physicians. He had a knack for voicing important, sometimes uncomfortable perspectives that challenged conventional thinking and forced to us to reflect critically on our work. When Howard spoke, we all stopped to listen, and the network was so much stronger for his contributions.
Howard was committed to using his experiences to help others. As a patient partner on the Kidney Check project in British Columbia, he brought crucial insights to the table that helped shape the engagement of Indigenous communities across BC. He was also a valued member of the Indigenous Peoples’ Engagement and Research Council who worked to foster mutual respect and cultural safety in relationships between health researchers and Indigenous peoples. In addition to his roles with Can-SOLVE CKD, Howard worked for more than 20 years with Lake Babine First Nation in Burns Lake, British Columbia, providing counselling services in the area of mental health, addictions, grief and loss, and historical trauma.
When he joined the network in 2015, Howard wrote to his fellow patient partners, “Being involved in Can-SOLVE CKD is an opportunity to bring an awareness and a message to all who are dealing with CKD, especially the marginalized of our society. They need care, love and knowledge so they can have a chance to live a good life.” All of us across the network will keep Howard’s words and his memory in our hearts as we work to realize this vision.
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