Get to Know the South Zone Indigenous Patient Navigator
Oki, niitaniko Iitaapiit'saanskiaki!
- Tell us a little about yourself, your background
Hello, my name is Chloe Crosschild. I am a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy from the Blood Tribe (Kainai Nation) with relations from both Mamioyiiski (Fish Eaters) and Aakaipokaiksi (Many Children) Clans.
I was raised both on and off reserve by my parents who have been married for nearly thirty years. I am the eldest of five children and single mother to my nine-year-old daughter, Paisley. I currently follow Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot ways of knowing) and honor Naatowa'pii (holy way of life).
I am also a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor and Master degree in Nursing from the University of Lethbridge currently working toward my PhD in Nursing. As an RN, I have worked as a community and public health nurse for AHS and the Blood Tribe Department of Health and as a Clinical Instructor and Advisor to the Nursing Curriculum for the University of Lethbridge. As a PhD student, I have also worked with the EQUIP Emergency research project while attending school at the University of British Columbia.
This position is part of a larger research project that takes a grassroots approach to collaborate with Indigenous community members. As the Indigenous Patient Navigator, I will have the opportunity to listen, learn, and share solutions and strategies with First Nation, Metis, and Inuit peoples in the South Zone to address the current gaps in health programs and services. Moving away from the traditional top down approach to providing services, the Indigenous Patient Navigator position works with and alongside Indigenous Peoples to co-create solutions and that is what I am most excited about.
I am passionate about Indigenous Peoples health and working to address health inequities Indigenous Peoples face. As a young Indigenous woman and RN, I have not only witnessed but experienced racism and discrimination in the health care system. These experiences fuel my passion to close the health equity gap and I believe that this position will be able to effectively bridge the gaps in health and health care for Indigenous Peoples in the South Zone. I hope this position will better assist Indigenous Peoples to navigate the often complex array of programs and services AHS has to offer. In doing so, my hope is that Indigenous Peoples in the South Zone will experience positive and meaningful encounters with the health care system.
Over the past three years I have been involved in health research, specifically in Indigenous Peoples' Health, maternal child health and structural violence. In August 2019, I successfully defended my MN thesis, Urban Indigenous Mothers' Experiences with Postnatal Nursing Care in Southern Alberta: A Blackfoot Methodology. My thesis was a community engaged project that centered Blackfoot values and protocols throughout the research process. Inspired by the mothers stories I believe it was imperative to continue with this research to advocate and push for health equity in southern Alberta. I am currently enrolled in the PhD in Nursing program at the University of British Columbia to expand on my thesis research.
It's very surprising for people to learn that there are five generations of women alive and well in my family. My daughter is still able to visit with her great-great grandmother and we see her on a weekly basis. I took my last position as the PHN in Cardston just so I could be closer to her.
6.What’s something you’re really grateful for?
I am truly grateful for the strong Indigenous women who raised me. My mother, grandmothers, and all my aunts have supported me in all avenues of my personal and professional journey. It is their strength and tenacity that has allowed me to be here and the intergenerational wisdom of my ancestors has guided me to where I am today.
7.How do you like to spend your free time?
I typically spend my free time with my family or reading a good book. Due to the COVID-19 quarantine, I have learned that I love virtual paint nights, puzzles and board games.
8.What is your favourite family vacation?
I have traveled many places with my family, including road trips down the west coast and through the Redwood Forest, to Disney Land in California, to Disney World in Florida, to Mexico, and most recently to Maui. Although, my favourite family vacation would have to be the two trips we've made to the Riviera Maya in Mexico. We spent a lot of our time unwinding and relaxing on the beach, swimming and snorkeling in turquoise waters, and ATVing and Ziplining through the jungle at night. The food was always great and the people are always so welcoming.
9.What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my daughter, Paisley. She is the light of my life and keeps me on my toes. As a young and single mother, I told myself that I wouldn't become another statistic. I wanted my daughter to have a good life and be proud of where she came from. Four days after delivering my daughter, I was back in the classroom with a baby on my hip. We like to joke around and tell people that she also has her BN, MN and soon to have a PhD because of all the nights she's listened to me talk about my papers and presentations. Paisley's love of animals and art is inspiring to me. She has two horses, Ru and Buttercup, one dog, Nanook, and two cats, Gizmo and Oliver.
10.How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle?
I spend time with family and friends, cook homemade meals (most of the time), and take long walks in the coulees.
Photo Credit: University of Lethbridge