We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Evelyn Voyageur, an Elder of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation, has agreed to support the Can-SOLVE CKD Network in the role of Elder advisor. In this capacity, she will counsel the network’s operations team and executive committee on respectful, culturally appropriate engagement of Indigenous individuals and communities.
As a registered nurse with a PhD in psychology, Dr. Voyageur has worked extensively in community- and hospital-based health care in across Alberta and British Columbia. She has worked with the Indian Residential School Society, where her work focused on supporting former students healing from the trauma of residential schools. She is also an educator who has taught and developed nursing curricula at the University of Victoria and North Island College.
Dr. Voyageur has received many awards for her contributions to Aboriginal nursing, including a 2018 Indspire Award for Health. This award acknowledged her promotion of Indigenous health in a number of capacities, most recently as BC representative for the Aboriginal Nurses Association and member of the board of St. Joseph’s General Hospital in BC. Dr. Voyageur was also recognized in 2017 in two ways by the College of Registered Nurses of BC when she received the Life Time Achievement award and was one of 150 nurses across Canada chosen for excellence in nursing. Also of note, she was one of the first recipients of the Award of Excellence in Nursing from Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Branch.
Dr. Voyageur has been active in the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association (formerly Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada) since 1980, serving as the BC representative, vice-president, and president (2010 to 2012). She also founded the Native and Inuit Nurses Association of BC (NINA) in the early 1980s to help educate those who work with First Nations communities.