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Joanna Vautour considers her home to be Serpent River First Nation, located midway between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury.
There, amongst the sounds of the highway, the sights of the cedars, raspberries and orange lillies, and the Thunderbird painting on her grandparents' home, Joanna feels most at peace.
Now the Aboriginal Patient Navigator serving the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and other Toronto-region hospitals, Joanna grew up in Toronto. But her mother, who hailed from Serpent River, made sure her children were closely connected to their Anishinaabe heritage.
"My family has called this land home for forever," Joanna says. "Actually 10,000, or 20,000 years before the celebration of Canada's 150th birthday."
For Joanna, this year is not a reason to celebrate, it's a catalyst to reflect on relationships with First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities: in the hospitals and beyond.
To mark Canada 150, we're telling audio stories in a podcast series to celebrate our diverse community at UHN. Every week, we'll share a new story about one of our employees who came to Canada from around the world, or a story about an employee whose family has called Canada home for thousands of years. Tune in weekly for a new story on our podcast, Home.
Listen to Joanna's full story by subscribing to Home on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and Podbean. You can also follow along on UHN's Podcast Hub.