I grew up in northeast Edmonton, and no matter what I do (or how far I run), I always end up being drawn back to that part of the city. Clareview kid, and proud of it.

My mother used to tell me that she didn’t know what it was like to have running water in her home until she was 15 (the 1980s). That seemed pretty nonchalant to me…but suddenly you grow up and hear about the boil-water advisories. You see the drastic health inequalities. You have rocks thrown at you from a passing car. Your uncle tells you about the time that a priest ripped his braid off. You hear people telling you to “just get over it.” You don’t think that in 21st-century Canada, your race can steer your life in a particular direction…and then it does.

Lucky for me, I have a loving and supportive family. I have intelligent, nerdy friends (one of whom is now my husband). I went to university and became a Registered Nurse; I deliver babies and see the joy that new life brings to the world. However, working at a large inner-city hospital was the cause of both my despair and research. Seeing first-hand how Indigenous patients were treated differently, and the ignorance to Canada’s troubled colonial history, prompted a lot of tears and confrontation. “Prove it,” said one administrator, after I had brought up that the Royal Alexandra Hospital had a bad reputation with Indigenous people. So I did, and here we are, eight months later.

Although this website was, first and foremost, a passion project, it is also the grand finale of my Master’s of Public Health degree at the University of Alberta. Thank you for taking the time to consider it, and to keep reading despite my long-winded rambling.

Academic/career interests include midwifery, addictions and mental health, Indigenous activism, community development, and humanitarianism. Everyday life interests include the cuddling of cats and dogs, pretending I’m a chef, sewing, wearing sundresses with big hats, and rocking out to good beats and tunes at any given chance.

Thank you again. I hope you find who you are looking for, and that you live a long and happy life.

All my relations,

Mel

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