Dylan Isaac

CYC; Mental Health & Addictions Worker, Walpole Island First Nation “Enodmaagejig” Social Services

Presenting on: Monday October 25

Session Title: Improving Indigenous vs Non-Indigenous Relations 

Presenters: Dylan Issac, CYC, Matthew McGuigan, RN, Jordynne Lindsay RN, Tara Greenway RN 

Session Description: This session is geared toward helping non-indigenous professionals in the healthcare sector to build and maintain relationships with indigenous clients. This session will focus on the history of indigenous peoples, the impacts of colonialism and the residential school legacy and will build upon current events and resources. This session will provide insights and concrete ideas revolving around reconciliation and rehabilitating indigenous and non-indigenous relations within the healthcare field. Participants will explore the current state of affairs between indigenous and non-indigenous professionals. This session will provide useful thoughts, approaches and suggestions that will enable non-indigenous professionals to begin dismissing institutionalized thinking, debunk colonial myths, and challenge personal opinions and biases. The ideas and examples provided within this session can be easily implemented by professionals looking to enrich their own relationships with indigenous patients and First Nations Peoples as a whole, whether through agency partnerships or interpersonal relations with clients. 

Three non indigenous nurses will share their lived experience of providing nursing care in indigenous communities. They will speak to the personal, professional and systemic struggles they have met and what inclusivity and respect of Indigenous ways of knowing and being has come to mean in their practice. All the while a fourth presenter, who is Indigenous will shepherd the discussion as he  gives insights into indigenous understanding and realties related to what is shared by the nurses. As well practical acts that nurses can do to foster “relations” with Indigenous people will be highlighted. As a means of demonstrating indigenous ways of learning, participants in this workshop will be guided through a “make and take” exercise as they learn and put to practice what is gained by attending this workshop.  

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn from the lived experience of Non-Indigenous Nurses working in Indigenous communities
  2. Gain understanding of how “relations” can be fostered between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people in a health care context.
  3. Experience Indigenous ways of knowledge transfer, through story telling and activity. 

Speaker Biography: Dylan Isaac is an indigenous male of Bkejwanong Territory, Walpole Island First Nation of Southwestern Ontario. Dylan is a Child & Youth Care Practitioner by profession, receiving his diploma from Lambton College located in Sarnia, Ontario. Currently working as the Mental Health & Addictions Worker of Walpole Island “Enodmaagejig” Social Services, Dylan has experienced the challenges of navigating and advocating for clients in need of services within the Healthcare sector. Coupled with his own personal experiences, Dylan has developed an understanding of the gaps and deficiencies faced by indigenous peoples. As an advocate for his community and First Nations Peoples in general—and fueled by recent incidents involving First Nations healthcare patients in Canada—Dylan looks to enhance awareness and understanding of indigenous history, consider current resources and utilize the relational approach as a means promote improved relations between indigenous patients and non-indigenous healthcare professionals.