Recipient of the School of Graduate Studies Silver Medal of Merit - Master of Nursing,
Chloe Crosschild (Iitapii’tsaanskiaki), RN, is a talented Blackfoot nursing scholar, who is committed to engaging in research and nursing practice that supports Indigenous health and well-being. Her outstanding qualitative thesis research project entitled “Urban Indigenous Mothers’ Experiences with Postnatal Nursing Care in Southern Alberta: A Blackfoot Methodology” included the development of a unique Indigenous methodology based on Blackfoot ways of knowing, which provides a potential roadmap for future health research with Blackfoot peoples. Since completion of her MN program, she has been busy applying her expertise as an Indigenous advisor to the Nursing Education in Southwestern Alberta (NESA) BN Programs in the implementation of new curricular changes to address the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. She is already engaged in the next phase of her educational and research journey as a student in the Nursing PhD program at the University of British Columbia.
What is your most memorable uLethbridge experience?
My most memorable uLethbridge experience was being able to sit on the Graduate Students' Association Council as the Indigenous Rep. This role was very important in making my graduate experience because it allowed me to learn from students in other disciplines, faculty from different departments and staff that make up the uLethbridge community.
Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your uLethbridge experience?
Yes. My mentor, role model, and thesis supervisor, Dr. Peter Kellett was an important influence in my uLethbridge experience. I met Peter while completing my undergraduate degree in nursing and he has been there to support and guide me in my professional journey. He pushed me to do things I never thought I was capable of achieving and through his mentorship I gained the confidence I needed to push past my own expectations. I am forever grateful for Dr. Kellett.
What is the most important lesson you learned?
The most important lesson I learned was to be true to myself in everything I do, including my research and academic work. Despite being an Indigenous woman, I was primarily trained and educated in a colonial system. It was in my graduate school journey that I was able to fully embrace the importance of my background and identity and draw on my Blackfoot values to guide me in my school work. I found myself in a unique position to explore how two worlds collide in health care, especially when Western and Indigenous ways of being clashed.
What are your hopes/plans for the future?
My plans are to complete my PhD in nursing from the University of British Columbia and start my new position with AHS as the Indigenous Patient Navigator. My hopes are to find opportunities throughout my career to work alongside Indigenous Peoples and communities toward health equity.
What advice would you give to students who are about to begin their post-secondary (graduate studies) journeys?
My biggest piece of advice for students about to begin their post-secondary journey is to be open-minded to different worldviews and perspectives and try to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. We aren't expected to know everything when we start our academic journeys, so it's okay to be wrong or feel challenged because that is the only way we can grow as students and scholars.