Skip to main content

Cynthia George Taha

Registered Nurse

empty
Cynthia smiling
I decided to be where my skills and services will be most beneficial. And believe me, when our people see a native nurse in scrubs in leader position, it does mean something.

History

I'm from the Wetsuweten Nation and the daughter of amazing parents -Tsebesya and Gilahgun and granddaughter of the late Satsun and Gisdeyweh. I grew up in Smithers BC Canada -on what is known as The Highway of Tears. I overcame many obstacles in life and thrive to be the best I can be today. We were taught at an early age to thrive off the territories and to learn the feast system, our self governance, since we weren't recognized by the federal government as aboriginal.

Education

When I was  21, I went to see a band post Secondary advisor  I went to enquire about a Licensed Practical Nursing Program. He said, “why don't you take the RN course.” I said ok! And like that, I made up my mind I can do it. I took my training at BCIT in Burnaby and graduated in 1994. I made it through the toughest of the toughest with 2 toddlers and a supportive partner. I enriched my career by taking the Northern Clinical Program through McMaster University and courses pertaining to Community Health through Uvic. I took my American Nursing later in my career I took my American Nursing Exam (NCLEX) in Baton Rouge Louisiana. I then took my Advanced Cardiac Life support through Tulan e Services. This course is reserved for emergency nurses and doctors only. I started a job at General Healthcare Systems – Baton Rouge General on a Telemetry (Cardiac) ward. In Vermont state I enrolled into Philosophy Science and Spirituality at Vermont College to talk a break from health sciences. I received an A. To integrate Wetsuweten world views in Philosophy to a New York City professor was something special for me!

Career

My 1st job was in New Aiyansh where the mountains surround you and the lava beds spread for miles and the water is turquoise. I was fortunate to witness the self governance and to see healthcare at its best―with me starting IV;s and doing blood pressures on one side of a patient and a traditional healer on the other side. I then worked as a Community Health Nurse amongst the Tsimshian. I loved visiting with the elders and just sitting with them in their homes or in their smokehouses and doing blood pressures and taking blood sugars was a reward in diverse nursing I was chosen to train in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and facilitated at the National NICCHRO Conference in Saskatoon. By 2001, I worked with Kateri Hospital as an evening charge nurse. I sat on an accreditation committee in which we nationally accredited the hospital. I also facilitated on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome at an International Conference in Edmonton and a Regional Conference in Montreal. I became an Aboriginal Nurses Association Director for Quebec Anglophone for years before I resigned to move to the USA. 

With the uncertainty and changes in healthcare systems for our people and a separate health authority plan that will marginalize our people since healthcare professionals now have an idea that we have our own healthcare system, I decided to be where my skills and services will be most beneficial. And believe me, when our people see a native nurse in scrubs in leader position,it does mean something. I work casually on a medical and telemetry floor with Fraser Health and also reinstated my nursing license to work in the United States again.

About the Author

Cynthia George Taha

Registered Nurse

You Might Like These... Indigenous Co-op, Indigenous Career Journey Stories, SFU Alumni

Mike
Mike, SFU Alumni

"I have no solid plans for the future and I love it...I know that every experience that I have had, every failed plan, was really an excellent mistake that gave me the skills I need to handle any situation that gets thrown my way in the future."

A person holding a Olympic torch
Peeriodical: Olympic Sized Persistence Pays Off

If there’s someone who knows about the terrifying journey that is the work search, it is Marissa Nahanee. She was a panellist at the Indigenous Peoples Career Stories event on March 3, 2011.  Marissa has worked on many world class events, including the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Torch relay and visits by Princes Charles and Edward. But Marissa’s job did not just happen to her – she had to work for it.

Brandon painting
Brandon Gabriel | Professional Contemporary Visual Artist

Brandon is a professional Contemporary Visual Artist based in Langley. He grew up in the Kwantlen Reserve and went on to study at Kwantlen University and attained his BFA from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2006.

Cynthia smiling
library_books
Blog
Cynthia George Taha | Registered Nurse
Indigenous Career Journey Stories, Indigenous Community Stories, Professional Development, Personal Development, Career Exploration

"With the uncertainty and changes in healthcare systems for our people and a separate health authority plan that will marginalize our people, I decided to be where my skills and services will be most beneficial." Read more to find out how a girl from Wetsuweten Nation became a leader in the Nursing field. 

Cynthia smiling
library_books
Blog
Cynthia George Taha | Registered Nurse
Indigenous Career Journey Stories, Indigenous Community Stories, Professional Development, Personal Development, Career Exploration

"With the uncertainty and changes in healthcare systems for our people and a separate health authority plan that will marginalize our people, I decided to be where my skills and services will be most beneficial." Read more to find out how a girl from Wetsuweten Nation became a leader in the Nursing field. 

You Might Like These... Indigenous Career Journey Stories

rudy smiling
Rudy Riemer/Yumk | SFU Department of First Nations Studies and Archaeology

"I grew up in Squamish BC, learning from elders and knowledgeable community members about Squamish Nation culture.  Many of my fondest memories are walking to downtown with my grandpa, sitting at my grand uncles kitchen table and going up the river to fish. During these formative years I was always careful to listen to what they had to say." 

Barry smiling
Barry Vickers

University, many people once told me, is the best time of your life. Yes, there is something to be said about being broke and stressed out with deadlines and exams.

A photo of the author
Indigenous Career Journey: Dr. Peter Eppinga

I am currently taking a Masters Degree in Health Science at the School of Population and Public Health at UBC. I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge on evidence based medicine, medical biostatistics, clinical epidemiology and public health.