On the first day of National Nursing Week, we celebrate Indigenous Nurses Day. This day acknowledges the dedication and achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis nurses and recognizes their invaluable work improving the health and well-being of all people in Canada.
Today we’d like to highlight Edith Anderson Monture (April 10, 1890 – April 3, 1996) – the 1st First Nations registered nurse in Canada. Born on Six Nations reserve near Brantford, Ontario, Edith, a gifted student, attended day school and received her high school diploma at Brantford Collegiate Institute. She struggled to be accepted to a Canadian nursing school as most excluded Indigenous women and Indigenous Peoples faced involuntary enfranchisement (loss of Indian status) for pursuing higher education. She was accepted to the New York’s New Rochelle Nursing School, where she graduated first in her class in 1914. She worked as a public health nurse and volunteered for duty with the Unites States Army Nurse Corps in World War I, eventually returning to Six Nations where she continued to work as a nurse and midwife until the 1960s. Her daughter, Helen Moses, also became a nurse and is one of the founding members of the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association. Edith Monture is considered a pioneer in Indigenous health care in Canada.
Indigenous nurses play a vital role in the health care system, providing culturally relevant care in communities across the province. Thank you to the First Nations, Inuit and Métis nurses who work tirelessly providing exceptional care to the people of Northwestern Ontario.
Learn more at:
Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association
Canadian Nurses Association – Indigenous Health