Profiles in Public Health: Jean Goodwill

Jean Goodwill

Canada’s First Aboriginal Nursing Graduate

Ms. Jean Goodwill was a leader n Aboriginal health care. A Plains Cree from Little Pine First Nation near North Battleford, Saskatchewan, she graduated in nursing at the Holy Family Hospital in Prince Albert and subsequently was employed at the Indian Hospital in Fort Qu’Appelle. She went on to become Nurse in Charge of the La Ronge Nursing Station, which opened her eyes to the health conditions of First Nations people. Ms. Goodwill’s involvement with the World Council on Indigenous Peoples enabled her to learn and share her knowledge in other developing countries. During her 20 years with the federal government, she was instrumental in developing health and social policies for Aboriginal people. Ms. Goodwill helped found the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada, where she served as President for seven years. As a member of the CPHA Board of Directors, Ms. Goodwill raised the profile of Aboriginal health issues, co-chaired the Aboriginal Working Group and was Chair of the Aboriginal Youth Committee that explored ways in which Aboriginal youth could be encouraged to choose careers in the health field. Ms. Goodwill was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and was awarded a national excellence award by the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. Jean Goodwill was awarded CPHA’s Ron Draper Health Promotion Award in 2000.

(CPHA Health Digest, Vol. 24, No. 4, Winter 2000)