NVHA Employee Jennifer Black Deepening Her Cultural Roots

NVHA Employee Jennifer Black Deepening Her Cultural Roots
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Nisga’a Valley Health Authority (NVHA) nurse and Nisga’a citizen Jennifer Black is strengthening her cultural identity and establishing deep roots in the valley.

Jennifer grew up in Naramata, a beautiful lakeside town in British Columbia’s Okanagan region.

Her favourite childhood memories were swimming, getting candy from the corner store, running around the cul-de-sac outside her home, and having her dad coach her softball team. Her team was a force to be reckoned with on the field.  “We made it to the playoffs often and even won the provincial championship one year,” said Jennifer.

When Jennifer was young, her mom was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. Jennifer was inspired by the dedicated care provided by nurses,which helped her realize her calling.

In 2021, Jennifer earned her nursing degree from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. After graduation, she became an Acute Care Nurse at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH).

In the job, she monitors patients’ vital signs, administers medication and collaborates with a wide variety of health care professionals. She’s also receiving training to become an ICU nurse in the role. 

Recently, Jennifer started a casual nursing position with NVHA. She’ll work in the valley every second month. However, her long-term goal is to move up there permanently. 

“I look forward to learning the ins and outs of rural nursing, helping NVHA and joining in on community engagements,” said Jennifer.

Work aside, Jennifer likes biking, hiking, playing softball, learning more about the Nisga’a language and culture, and spending time with her two labradoodles.

“I treat my labradoodles as if they were my kids,” joked Jennifer.

Jennifer is from the Wilp Luuya’as. Her maternal ancestors are all from Laxgalts’ap and a part of the Laxsgiik pdeek (Eagle tribe). Her gigi Lily has been involved in the Nisga’a Ts’amiks Society for almost 40 years. She recently received her matriarch’s name Gwaax Yim.