Oct. 16, 2023

Schumacher 2023: Siksika nursing alumna talks about health, healing and Indigenous knowledge at 10th annual lecture

Debbie Smith, BN'94, coordinator of Iiyikinaami – Spirit Helper program at Old Sun Community College says fusing of Indigenous and Western ways will move health care forward for everyone
Debbie Smith, BN'94 at Grey Eagle
Debbie Smith, BN'94, 2023 Marguerite Schumacher Memorial Alumni Lecture speaker

On Saturday, Oct. 14, 100 people celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Marguerite Schumacher Memorial Alumni Lecture at Grey Eagle Resort and Casino. 

Debbie Smith, BN'94, Siksika First Nation member and coordinator of Iiyikinaami - Spirit Helper BN program, a partnership between Old Sun Community College and UCalgary Nursing was the keynote speaker at the 2023 Marguerite Schumacher Memorial Alumni Lecture. Her lecture was titled “Nurturing our roots toward health and healing: the story of Iiyikinaami (Spirit Helper)”

Group of five speakers in front of platform

From left, Dr. Catherine Laing, acting dean; Dr. Heather Bensler, BN’97, EdD’22, assistant dean - academic partnerships; Deb Smith, BN'94; Chaltu Abdulrhman, BN'21, UCalgary Nursing Alumni Committee vice-president; Elder Herman Old Yellow Woman.

Adrian Shellard

The new venue was the perfect backdrop for Debbie Smith's message of the importance the values, traditions and practices of Indigenous people can bring to health and wellbeing through informed nursing care.

Guests took a journey through Smith's personal past, her educational experience as the only Indigenous nursing student in her cohort and her full circle return to education as coordinator of the collaborative BN program.

For the full photo album from the evening, check out the entire Facebook album at the link below.