Transforming the rhetoric, racism and realities for Indigenous peoples: Disrupting nurses’ thinking and practice

2021 Marion Woodward Lecture & Symposium

Date: 04 Nov 2021

Presented by: Dr. Denise Wilson, Professor of Māori Health, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Room: ONLINE via Zoom

Time: 12-2pm PST

This event will be recorded.


The Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Woodward Foundation has generously supported the annual Marion Woodward Lecture since 1969. This lectureship marked the first time that Marion Woodward had allowed her name to be used in conjunction with any of the beneficiaries of the Foundation.


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Professor Denise Wilson (Ngāti Tahinga, Tainui)

The impacts of colonisation on Indigenous peoples globally have left a wake of historical and intergenerational trauma, ongoing cultural disconnection, and displacement in society. The ongoing effects of colonisation and health and social inequities are a reality for most Indigenous peoples. This reality has a devastating impact on Indigenous peoples and their families now and into the future. Nurses play a significant role in the health care of Indigenous people. Yet, research shows us Indigenous peoples’ wellbeing is framed within unfulfilled rhetoric, racist encounters, and realities shrouded in social and health inequities. Nurses are inadvertently (or knowingly) complicit in the rhetoric, racism and perpetuating Indigenous peoples’ realities. This 53rd Marion Woodward Lecture will provide a historical and contemporary exploration of Indigenous realities when seeking health care and discuss what is needed to transform nurses’ thinking and practice.


PANELISTS: Dr. Margaret Moss, Tania Dick, Chloe Crosschild, & Dr. Denise Wilson
MODERATOR: Dr. Saima Hirani

Join the symposium panelists and moderator for a dialogue and response to the keynote lecture.

Margaret P. Moss, PhD, JD, RN, FAAN, is an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation (Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota), and has equal lineage in a Canadian Dakhóta Nation in Saskatchewan. She has been a nurse for 32 years and is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.  Dr. Moss is the first and only American Indian to hold both nursing and juris doctorates. She has been in academia for 21 years.  She is currently, at the University of British Columbia as Director of the First Nations House of Learning, and in the Faculty of Applied Science as an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing. She has been on faculty at the University at Buffalo, Yale University, and the University of Minnesota. Dr. Moss was a 2014 Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Aboriginal/Indigenous Life and Culture in the North American Context at McGill University, Montreal, QC (2014). As a RWJF Health Policy Fellow she staffed the US Senate Special Committee on Aging (2008-9) and was original lead staff on the now enacted National Alzheimer’s Project Act. Moss has published the first nursing textbook on American Indian health (Springer 2015), which won AJN Book of the Year in 2 categories (2016). Her next text, Health Equity and Nursing (Springer) was out March 2020.  She has given over 150 presentations on these topics especially in and about the four settler states New Zealand, Australia, Canada and across the US. She was just appointed to the Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice (BPH) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (2021).

Tania Dick is from the Dzawada’enuxw First Nations of Kingcome Inlet and has been a registered nurse in BC for 18 years. She is the first Indigenous person to graduate from the UBC School of Nursing’s Master of Nursing – Nurse Practitioner program in 2010. Her career has focused on rural and remote nursing, specializing in emergency and Indigenous health. Tania has recently been recruited back to the UBC School of Nursing in a new position as Indigenous Nursing Lead.

Chloe Crosschild (Iitaapii’tsaanskiakii) is a Blackfoot woman from the Blood Tribe (Kainai Nation). She is a registered nurse working towards her PhD at the UBC School of Nursing with supervisor Dr. Colleen Varcoe. She has worked as a community and public health nurse for the Blood Tribe Department of Health and as a Clinical Instructor and Nursing Curriculum Advisor. She is the inaugural navigator for a new Indigenous Patient Navigation Service, recently launched in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Professor Denise Wilson, Professor in Māori Health, Associate Dean Māori Advancement in the Faculty of Health & Environmental Sciences, & Co-Director of Auckland University of Technology’s Taupua Waiora Māori Research Centre


Professor Denise Wilson (Ngāti Tahinga, Tainui) is a New Zealand registered nurse with intensive and coronary care, acute medicine, and community nursing experience. She is a Professor in Māori Health, an Associate Dean Māori Advancement in the Faculty of Health & Environmental Sciences, and a Co-Director of Auckland University of Technology’s Taupua Waiora Māori Research Centre. Denise’s research focuses on whānau violence, equitable health service engagement for Māori, cultural responsiveness, and workforce development. She is a Fellow of the College of Nurses Aotearoa (New Zealand), the American Academy of Nurses, and the Royal Society Te Āparangi for her contributions to research and policy related to Indigenous and Māori health, and whānau violence.