Jean Cuthand Goodwill (1928-1997)

Jean Cuthand Goodwill was the first Aboriginal woman in Canada to complete nursing training. It was the year 1954. Goodwill went on to pursue and incredible career based on a bicultural view of the health care system:

Goodwill was sensitive to the traditions of Aboriginal peoples in a way that the non-native nurses were not. Goodwill hoped that nurses of Native ancestry could reinforce the healing traditions and beliefs of Aboriginal peoples while at the same time making available the best that modern nursing could offer to Aboriginal communities" (Drees and McBain, 61).

Goodwill began her career in Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan and then moved to a head nurse position at the LaRonge nursing station. After a brief time working in Bermuda, her work focused on ensuring appropriate health services for Aboriginal communities; for their cultural traditions and social conditions. To this end, Goodwill was a member of many committees and associations:

She was executive director of the India-Métis Friendship Centre in Winnipeg, head of the Department of Indian Health Studies at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College of the University of Regina, a member of the Aboriginal Women's Association of Canada, to name but a few. She was also a founding member of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada, where she served as president for seven years" (Library and Archives Canada).

Goodwill was also involved in politics, becoming the first Aboriginal woman to be appointed special advisor to the minister of National Health and Welfare.

Goodwill's exceptional career and commitment to Aboriginal health earned her several prestigious distinctions. The Manitoba Nurses Association created the Jean Goodwill Award. Goodwill received the award in 1981. She received an honourary Doctorate of Law degree from Queen's University in 1986 and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992.

Jean goodwill was a role model for all Saskatchewan nurses. Her focus on Aboriginal health was much needed work. Goodwill passed away in 1997.