Transforming Indigenous healthcare, one person at a time – The Queen’s Journal

Indigenous communities in Kingston imagine paths to change

When Dionne Nolan (Zoogipon Ikwe) visits her patients, she brings her medicine bundle containing her drum, pipe, feathers, shaker, and plant medicines.

Every day, Nolan, an Indigenous cancer care navigator at the Southeast Regional Cancer Program, travels throughout an area extending from Prescott to Bancroft to Trenton to connect Indigenous peoples living with cancer with the care and advocacy they need.

“My medicine bundle is kind of like a doctor’s satchel, and I have all my tools in there. My spiritual sacred items are in there, my medicines are in there, and I share that with my patients,” Nolan told The Journal in an interview.

The process of being diagnosed and treated for cancer can be disorienting for anyone, but it’s especially so for Indigenous patients who face an increased risk of cancer while also lacking access to key cancer care or screening services, Nolan said.

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