Coming Up: “Our Voices II: Reckoning with Racism in Nursing” October 17th

Following up from the first “unveiling” of the video stories from participants in our “Overdue Reckoning on Racism in Nursing,” this zoom gathering will feature three thematic films that feature the storytellers.* The themes are “Racism in Nursing Education-Undergrad”, “Caring Against the Grain” and “Patient Race Bias”. After viewing the films, participants will engage with one another to discuss paths forward to create change.

When: Monday, October 17, 2022, 1:00pm to 4:00pm Eastern

American Sign Language and Live Captioning will be provided.

Register Here

*Made possible by Seedworks Social Justice Foundation.

Overdue Reckoning on Racism in Nursing! Returning September 24, 2022, 4 pm Eastern

2022-23 Theme

*Beyond Apology

*Moving Forward

*Taking Action

We return for our “Overdue Reckoning on Racism in Nursing” discussions on September 24, 2022 at 4 PM Eastern, continuing monthly on the last Saturday of every month!  Our discussions will again be hosted by Lucinda Canty, PhD, CNM, FACNM and will begin with a critical reflection on the recent apology issued by the American Nurses Association (download PDF here). Our discussions continue to be guided by our “Principles of Reckoning” (see below) with the focus in the coming year on developing our own solutions so that we can take action! 

Register here:

Principles of Reckoning

All of the activities related to “Overdue Reckoning” are guided by our Principles of Reckoning, which take a bold anti-racist stand for nursing. Our principles are:

  • We claim the courage to join together through the experience of building our anti-racist capacity in nursing.
  • We cherish the contributions and honor the voices of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other Nurses of Color, and yield the floor to those voices throughout our time together.
  • We recognize that we cannot move forward without a deep understanding of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other nurses of color experiences with racism.
  • The insights and recommendations of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other nurses of color are vital to ground our thinking, and to guide our actions.
  • We pledge to listen deeply and with respect to any and all expressions of anger, rage, despair and grief arising from racism.
  • We commit to healing those harmed by racism.
  • We commit to challenging, resisting and ending the voices and actions that sustain white privilege.
  • We seek to nurture authentic anti-racist awareness.
  • We will inspire and nurture action, as we boldly claim an anti-racist identity for nursing.

The “Documentary” project is here!

Those who have participated in the “Overdue Reckoning on Racism in Nursing” have heard mention of “the documentary” that has been underway since our beginning, a project made possible by Sue Hagedorn who is a co-author of the “Nursing Manifesto” and a documentary film-maker. Now it is published and available to all on the “Reckoning with Racism in Nursing” website!

There are videos of 40 individual conversations – nurses of color sharing their experiences of racism and their hopes for the future, and 3 thematic explorations that address undergraduate education, the dynamics of racism in relation to patient care, and patient race-bias. The individual conversations address a broad range of issues, including the challenges of living in a duality of cultures, race-based bias in nursing and healthcare, reasons for the persistence of racism in nursing, and ideas for creating an anti-racist future.

The leadership group on the project includes our “Overdue” host Lucinda Canty, and participants Frankie Manning, Gayle Robinson, Sue Hagedorn, Melissa Mokel and Raeann LeBlanc. The project was funded and produced through the generous support of Seedworks Films, and produced in conjunction with StoryCenter, an international participatory media organization. The StoryCenter staff who produced the films are Sharon Latimer-Mosley, Joe Lambert, Jonny Chang, and Armand Jayne.

We are thrilled with this dimension of our “Overdue” work! But our work is far from over! We have taken “time off” for the summer, but we will resume our active project work in September! Watch our “Overdue” page for more information, and join our email lists for more information going forward!

My university did not train me to be a combat soldier!

Contributor: Rebekah J. Salt

In the United States, as of May, there were 212 reported mass shootings, and the number is steadily rising (Diaz, 2022). In 2019, there were verified 417 mass shootings, 610 in 2020, and 692 in 2021 (Gun Violence Archive, 2022). In 2021 of the 692, a reported 34 of those were in educational institutions (Education Week, 2022).

The Uvalde massacre of 19 innocent little souls and their two dedicated teachers once again caused me to reflect on my purpose and future as an educator. I am saturated and weary of the constant excuses, propaganda, and proposals of strategies that are geared toward imprisoning us in the institutions that were designed to liberate us. I started my graduate journey 25 years ago idealistic and community health focused. My university did not train me to be a combat soldier!

My university taught me to unpack my philosophical backpack. They challenged me to consider my privilege, to explore injustice and inequity, and to advocate for vulnerable populations. I refuse to repack that backpack with the status quo. My university taught me to navigate with a social justice lens and to train nurses to provide compassionate, safe, and culturally sensitive care. My university did not train me to be an assault weapons specialist.

My university taught me boots-on-the-ground strategies and prevention. They trained me to operationalize a community-based approach that promotes health and well-being. I was taught to leave the world a better place than I found it. My university did not train me to be a combat strategist.

My university taught me how to navigate a public health crisis. They trained me to collaborate, educate, vaccinate, and protect students, patients, and the public against threats like  SARS-CoV-2. My university did not train me in combat maneuvers to protect students, patients, and the public from bullets.

I refuse to carry a backpack filled with fear and despair. Right now, I do not know how this latest mass shooting will affect policy or if anyone will listen, but what I do know is that my university did not train me to be a combat solider!


Diaz, J. (2022, May 25). 27 school shootings have taken place so far this year.

Education Week. (2022, May 25). School shootings this year. How many and where. Retrieved from

Gun Violence Archive. (2022). Gun violence archives. Past summary ledgers.

About Rebekah Salt

Dr. Salt brings 39 years of nursing experience to her current role as an educator and nurse researcher. She earned a master’s degree in Cross Cultural and Community Health Nursing and a PhD in nursing, focusing on social determinants of health. Dr. Salt teaches community health and works with vulnerable populations using a Community-Based Participatory Research and community engaged approach. Her work has been disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and at regional, national, and international conferences.  

Indigenous Nurses Day April 10-11, 2022


Catherine Tanski (Kitselas/Kitsumkalum Nation), RN,
Indigenous Leadership Circle Chair, BC Nurses’ Union.
Christina Chakanyuka (Métis), RN, MN, PhD Student,
University of Victoria.
Nikki Rose Hunter Porter (St’uxwtews),, RN, MN Student,
Thompson Rivers University.
Michelle Padley (Métis), RN, MN Student,
Thompson Rivers University.
Mona Lisa Bourque Bearskin (Beaver Lake Cree Nation), RN, PhD, BC
Chair Indigenous Health Research in Nursing,
Associate Professor, Thompson Rivers University.

Participate in Social Media Events for Sunday, April 10th

Attend Virtual Celebration Events on Monday, April 11th  

In 1971, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) designated May 12 as International Nurses Day on the birthday of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). Since that time, Nurses Week has been attached to the week of May 12 worldwide.

In light of provincial and national efforts to dismantle a widely recognized colonial healthcare system, many Indigenous nurses are calling for Indigenous Nurses Day to be held separate and apart from mainstream Nurses Week. From an Indigenous health viewpoint, Nightingale built the nursing model largely upon Eurocentric and paternalistic views, and her reign was during the height of British Imperial colonization upon Indigenous Peoples. Further, it was Nightingale’s research which served as the template for nursing models implemented in Canada’s Indian Hospitals and throughout segregated healthcare services, a legacy that still haunts Indigenous survivors. It is our collective position that continuing to celebrate Florence Nightingale as the “beacon of nursing” does a disservice to Indigenous nurses who do not align with her vision. The New Zealand Nurses Organization has already taken a clear position on this (see link below).

Beginning this year, we are celebrating Indigenous Nurses Day on April 10, the birthday of Edith Monture – the first Indigenous person to practice as a registered nurse within the Canadian healthcare system in 1914. We aim to elevate the voices of Indigenous nurses and bring attention to their important role in improving Indigenous health equity. For example, did you know that St’at’imx nurse Rose Casper was the first First Nations person to become a nurse in Western Canadian in 1955?

We ask that you join the Indigenous Leadership Circle (ILC) at the British Columbia Nurses’ Union and the Indigenous Health Nursing Research Team along with community partners in our endeavor to promote the recognition of our past, present, and future Indigenous nurses on April 10 as a new official date. On this day, Indigenous nurses and allies can proudly celebrate the history and legacy of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nurses! This celebration will include Indigenous guest speakers, sharing circles, and stories shared by the families of Edith Monture and Rose Casper.

This event is in the spirit of the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, and the recent In Plain Sight Report which detailed entrenched racism in BC healthcare.

On behalf of Indigenous Leadership Circle with BCNU and the Indigenous Health Nursing Research Team, we thank you for your time in considering our vision and standing in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples on the frontlines of healthcare.

Warmly in wellness,

Catherine Tanski RN
ILC Provincial Chair
BC Nurses’ Union

Tribute to Charlotte Edith Anderson Monture, (1890 – 1996)


“Edith” was born on April 10 and belonged to the Six Nations reserve in Ohsweken near Brantford, Ontario. She was a member of the Mohawk tribe and the youngest of eight siblings. When in her early 20s, Edith applied to several nursing schools in Ontario. However, Canada’s Indian Act placed restrictions on the pursuit of higher education by all Status Indians and Edith was refused acceptance. Edith instead applied in the United States and was accepted into the Rochelle Nursing School in New York. Edith became a registered nurse in 1914, after graduating first in her class. Edith was the first registered nurse of Indigenous descent in Canadian history.


Download the Indigenous Nurses Day Poster here. (PDF)

Download the Event Schedule here (PDF)

For More Information contact or

Associated Links (6)

Additional Associated Links (6)

Edith Anderson Monture: The 1st First Nations Registered Nurse in Canada

St’at’imx Nurse Rose Casper Retires After 50 Years of Service: First Native Nurse in Western Canada (FNHA, 2013, p. 6)

21 Things You May Not Know about the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality (REVIEW)

In Search of the Truth: Uncovering Nursing’s Involvement in Colonial Harms and Assimilative Policies Five Years Post Truth and Reconciliation Commission

NZ Nurses Organization: Why we aren’t celebrating Florence’s birthday

Nursing Clio: Beyond Florence (Series)