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Indigenous Nurses Day - April 10/11, 2023
Indigenous Nurses Day is an opportunity to celebrate the immense contributions of Indigenous Nurses to health and wellness. In 2022, the inaugural Indigenous Nurses Day was held in celebration of the birth of Edith Monture and to recognize Rose Casper, Western Canada's first Indigenous Nurse.
Charlotte Edith Anderson Monture
Charlotte Edith Anderson Monture was born April 10, 1890 on the Six Nations Reserve. She became the first Indigenous person in Canada to be recognized as registered nurse, served in World War 1, and became the first Indigenous woman to vote as a result of the Military Voters Act of 1917. In 1960, when all Indigenous Peoples gained the right to vote, her home served as a polling station helping to enfranchise Indigenous voters. Edith passed away in 1996, the same year the last Indian Hospital and Residential Schools officially closed in Canada. We honour her birth, legacy and advocacy on this historic day.
Rose Casper of the St'at'imc Nation was the first Indigenous nurse in Western Canada. She attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School and was among the first students to enter high school, graduating in 1952. In 1955 Rose graduated from the St. Josephs School of Nursing located in Victoria, BC. Rose worked in her home community of Shalalth as a nurse for over 50 years. To honour her legacy and service to her community, the Rose Casper Healing Centre was opened in Shalalth in 2003. The Centre remains a fixture in the community offering wellness services that are both traditional and contemporary.