An Influential Woman: Jean Cuthand Goodwill

This story and photo are re-blogged from Toronto Education Workers Website, The article is published there without a date or author. Complete URL appears at the bottom of this post.

I was thrilled to learn that the Cree language recordings Jean made of her father, John B. Tootoosis, in preparing his (English language) biography still exist, just aching to be transcribed and given back to Cree people working to revitalize their own language.

The book includes many thoughts that are as powerful today as the day they were first recorded, even in English, but how wonderful it would be to see them presented in both languages together! The Toronto Education Workers story follows below: 

Jean Cuthand Goodwill, known for championing public health services for Aboriginal people and establishing the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada, was born in Little Pine First Nation on August 14, 1928.

Goodwill co-founded the Indian and Inuit Nurses of Canada (now the Aboriginal Nursing Association of Canada) in 1974 and served as president of the group from 1983 to 1990. Goodwill also served as an advisor to Assistant Deputy Minister, D. Lyall Black at Aboriginal Affairs and became a nursing consultant for the Medical services Division in 1978. She became the first Aboriginal woman in the federal public service to be appointed as special advisor to the minister of National Health and Welfare, Monique Begin and was later named to the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

Goodwill moved to Standing Buffalo Reserve after retirement and became the department head of Indian Health Studies at Saskatchewan Indian Federated College of the University of Regina, now widely known as the First Nations University of Canada. There she helped develop the National Native Access to Nursing Program.

Goodwill wrote a book about her father titled Tootoosis: A Biography of a Cree Leader in 1982. She received an award (the Jean Goodwill Award) from the Manitoba Indian Nurses Association created in her honour in 1981. Goodwill additionally received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Queen’s University in 1986, the Order of Canada in 1992 and a national excellence award from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation in 1994. She later died in August 1997.

The complete URL:

5 Responses

  1. Oct, 05, 2018:

    I am looking for living relatives of Jean Goodwill to contact me, I am from the Canadian Coast Guard and this would be a possible good news story.

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