“Irihapeti Ramsden: The Public Narrative on Cultural Safety”
The magnificent voices of Indigenous women who want to restore, preserve and extend the beauty of Indigenous culture must be relocated and honoured as the last best hope of escaping the tragic impacts of colonization. This paper started as an exploration of New Zealand Indigenous scholar Irihapeti Ramsden’s extraordinary efforts to imbed Cultural Safety as a foundation for nursing training and unity of purpose for all community helpers to alter the trajectory of colonization and its tragic impacts on Indigenous peoples. It morphed into a celebration of the powerful ‘reflective topical auto-biographies’ or meta-narratives of adaptability and resilience all Indigenous people need to share as we recover and heal from intergenerational traumas inflicted in the name of civilization and racial supremacy. Transformative change starts with self discovery as Irihapeti Ramsden taught her student nurses. Women and children are the most poignant victims of that foolish colonial project and their survival stories can lead all humanity back to respectful and loving sustainability. Indigenous women’s resilience stories need a special space in academic literature. Their enduring women-spirit has always guided this First Nations to be better first as an Indigenous man and more importantly as a human being. Irihapeti Ramsden’s journey to put Cultural Safety out there in mainstream academia began with a powerful reflective inner healing journey. Her life and work was a remarkable gift to all. The title of this paper derives from Section Three of her PhD thesis. It must be shared throughout all the worlds’ spaces in need of decolonization. Her ultimately political meta-narrative to alter ignorance and arrogance within education, government and society is one all Indigenous writers and scholars must study and articulate across often culturally unsafe places and spaces within Canada’s colleges and universities.