Fjola Hart-Wasekeesikaw

Native people with graduate degrees often have many options for employment. Most are sought after by big business and governments, but Fjola Hart-Wasekeesikaw made the heroic choice to return to her community of Norway House, Manitoba to improve healthcare and share her considerable knowledge with students. After 20 years of outstanding service as a healthcare professional, lecturer, academic, teacher, and administrator, Ms. Hart-Wasekeesikaw became Coordinator of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Nursing Norway House Cree Nation site, a satellite Bachelor of Nursing program. Ms. Hart-Wasekeesikaw’s qualifications for this position were impeccable. She earned her Diploma in Nursing in 1972 from the Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing, her Bachelor of Nursing degree in 1982 from the University of Manitoba, and her Masters degree in Nursing also from the University of Manitoba in 1996. During these years, Ms. Hart-Wasekeesikaw won a variety of scholarship awards including the Maurice Legault Clinical Cancer Nursing Fellowship in 1993 and the Eleanor Jean Martin Award from the Canadian Nurses Foundation in 1994. Her numerous lectures and papers have won her the Manitoba Nursing Research Institute Qualitative Thesis Award in 1996-97. Ms. Hart-Wasekeesikaw’s diverse career has spanned numerous years and numerous roles including work as Instructor at the Red River Community College to practicing nurses in the Intensive Care Unit of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. She also served as the Director of the Northern Nursing Education Program in Thompson, Manitoba from 1982 to 1985. Ms. Hart-Wasekeesikaw continues to be involved in the University of Manitoba’s Norway House program as lecturer and is also the newly elected President of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada.