Once again we get to listen in as Gerry addresses health care professionals as a keynote speaker for the First Nations Health Authority Nursing Education Forum. During FNHA’s conference titled “Care, Culture, and Connection” Gerry delivers a dynamic keynote he titled “Using Indigenous Voices, Music, and Ceremony as a way of Connecting as Caregivers.”. Despite the fact this is a large event, Gerry uses his familiar comforting approach to communicating to share this impactful message with his audience. In this address Gerry shares his teachings on the importance of Traditional language and use of ceremony. This importance falls on both Indigenous and non Indigenous peoples alike. As Gerry shares his teachings, he acknowledges the cultural significance and history of Indigenous ceremonies and language and using these as a means of connection. For many years Indigenous ceremonies were outlawed. So for Indigenous peoples to participate in ceremony is a beautiful means of connection and reclamation. But this means of connection isn’t exclusive to Indigenous peoples! Non-Indigenous individuals can use these beautiful practices to relate to, understand, and connect with Indigenous peoples better. Gerry shares that by having Non-Indigenous peoples participate in Indigenous language and ceremony this shows in a simple way that Indigenous language, ceremony, and culture is valuable and acceptable. Gerry goes on to not only encourage non-Indigenous peoples in this way; but also educates on how to navigate this means of connection with grace and respect. No matter one’s experience or exposure to Indigenous language and ceremony, in this podcast Gerry gently calls for the embrace of these as the beautiful means of connection that they are.
The 2019 Nursing Education Forum (NEF) brought First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) community health nurses and band-hired community nurses who serve BC First Nations communities together to share, re-energize and enhance their knowledge and skills.
The FNHA hosts the annual forum in support and recognition of the positive impact of nursing services in communities. This year's forum took place in Surrey, BC, last month and had a record attendance of over 250 point-of-care nurses from community.