TIMMINS, ON: Students from the Laurentian University Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program at Northern College had an opportunity to learn about the health care system in Mattagami First Nation earlier this month, thanks to the generous support of Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines and Kidd Operations.
Ten third-year BScN students spent a day in the community as part of the Northern Rural and Remote Nursing Experience course. The course aims to provide students with a better understanding of local Indigenous cultures, and their traditional approaches to health and wellness.
The visit to Mattagami First Nation followed a week-long placement that the same students attended in Moosonee and Moose Factory in February of this year. These placements have provided students with both rural and remote experience, respectively.
“Our visit to Mattagami First Nation is an excellent complement to our placement in Moosonee and Moose Factory, because it shows our students that there is no singular local Indigenous culture,” said Johanne Carbonneau, BScN Program Coordinator at Northern College. “Local Cree and Ojibway communities have a variety of traditional approaches to health care. By providing our students with a knowledge of these approaches, they’ll be well equipped to tailor their practice to a wider range of clients once they enter the workforce.”
During the day, students met with regional health care providers and local leaders, including Mattagami First Nation Councillor Jennifer Constant, Elder Morris Naveau and his wife Halina, Wabun Tribal Council Assistant Health Director Julie McKay, and Goldcorp’s Indigenous Community Relations Manager Mary Boyden.
“Porcupine Gold Mines supports the understanding that First Nation communities are unique in their relationships to health, wellness and culture and we were pleased to participate in this experiential learning provided by Mattagami First Nation,” said Boyden. “As a mining company, we have realized the benefits of learning from the traditions of First Nations as well as from current scientific practices.”
The group received additional exposure to traditional Ojibway healing practices during an in-class seminar delivered by Misiway Milopemahtesewin Community Health Centre earlier this year.
Funding in support of the Northern Rural and Remote Nursing Experience course has been provided by Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines and Kidd Operations.
“Sustainability is at the core of Kidd Operations’ corporate social investment strategy, one that strives to encourage capacity building and collective impact. We congratulate the BScN Nursing students and faculty for proactively identifying a gap in their learning experience and the college for providing a truly community-based, relevant solution. We are pleased to partner with local organizations and other companies in support of projects such as this one that meet community priority needs as identified by our stakeholders,” said Carole Belanger, Kidd Operations’ Community Relations Coordinator.
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