Pray for the Health of Indigenous Canadians
Julie Lys, a Metis nurse practitioner, was born into a large Metis family in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. She started her career in healthcare at
14 years old, working as a volunteer at the local hospital. She took her initial diploma in nursing in Edmonton and graduated in 1985. In 1987, she returned to the North to work as a nurse in her home community. In 2007, she graduated with a Masters in Nursing—Advanced Nursing Practice and began working as a nurse practitioner.
Throughout her nursing career, Julie has been active in Indigenous health, education, and research. Julie has shared her experiences working as an Indigenous nurse at several conferences and gatherings, to bring Indigenous health issues to the forefront. In 2012, she spoke at a national roundtable at Rideau Hall to address ways of improving Indigenous health and healing.
With 32 years of nursing and Indigenous health knowledge, Julie is working with Northwest Territories Metis Nation to develop Indigenous
on-the-land healing and wellness programs. These programs focus on connecting youth, adults and Elders to share local traditional knowledge that helps improve healing and wellness. Talking, sharing and healing circles help participants understand the history of Indigenous people in Canada and how this has affected health and wellness. Medicine walks and genealogy groups help connect participants to the land, each other, and their ancestors. Participants gain strength and resilience by understanding who they are and where they have come from.
God, we pray for the health of Indigenous people and for the efforts of healers like Julie to instil traditional ways of wellness.
Mona Fox, Eganville, ON. WICC Council member.