Study with Seven First Nations Grandmothers in a Small City in Alberta with Carla Ginn

This PAR study engaged a group of seven First Nations grandmothers in a small city in Alberta between January and April 2009. The aims of the study were two-fold: first, engage with a group of First Nations grandmothers in collaborative research; and second, gain understanding about health and ways of promoting it in their families and communities. The first research question concerning the meaning of health was described by the grandmothers as maintaining mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual balance. The grandmothers linked personal health with family and community health and identified cycles of support between themselves, their families and communities. The second research question concerning health promotion in their families and communities, encompassed: role-modeling with grandchildren as catalysts; educating others to increase understanding; choosing to live off-reserve; trusting others and developing self-acceptance; problem-solving and living without anger; enjoying life; maintaining resiliency; staying positive; encountering racism; experiencing spirituality every day; living within two cultures; and believing in dreams and intuition. Carla has been working as a registered nurse for 33 years. She enjoys working with nursing students and is back in school herself once again. She enjoys spending time cycling with her husband, and trying to keep up with her 4 grown children. She has become a grandma this year and it is the best thing that has ever happened to her!

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