Guest post by Duane Jackson, Patient partner

My name is Duane Jackson, I am Gitanmaax of the Gitksan nation of Old Hazelton. I am father to Caleb, Cooper, and James, and 27-year partner to Christine. I have been a patient partner for five years and have been honoured to work beside people of like mind and understanding. We have worked together to tap into the lived experience of the people who access health care.

If we were to believe that there was one way to care for all people, we would be incredibly naive and short-sighted. I have done 30 different types of work in my life and have learned from all the people that I was privileged to work beside. Men, women, girls, boys, children, teenagers, young adults, middle-aged, and elders, all with some form of lived experience to bring to the situation at hand.

If, in health care, we truly want optimum care for the patients that we serve, we need to engage with the people concerned and tap into this seemingly limitless pool of resources.

Wisdom is not acquired knowledge, it’s what we learn from the results of applying the knowledge that we acquire. In other words, wisdom is gained through lived experience, which patient and family partners have in spades. This application of knowledge is what happens every day of a person’s life, these lessons that we pick up, this wisdom that we store, is lived experience.

I challenge you to move through your day, through the spectacular and amazing journey that is “living”, and not find something new, to not find learning everywhere. Of course, at times, we may get in our own way during these explorations and experiences, and we don’t allow ourselves this gift of enlightenment.

The answer to getting out of your own way is to embrace a little humility, sometimes a good healthy dose of humility. As we moved through our health care experience, I observed a deplorable scarcity of this virtue; it seemed that we received care from a place that fostered a consistent thought process that negated partnership and promoted exclusion.

Humility is our strongest virtue, vulnerability is the key to moving forward, there is no growth without first being conflicted. To be in service, which in my culture is a tremendously honourable path, requires the consistent embracing of humility.

In my work as a patient partner, my only wish for all involved in the giving of care to those in need, is this gift of humility.

For you all, I only want, the path forward. Haa’mii’yaa. Thank you.

Duane Jackson
Tauhx Gadx – A Journey To Be Whole

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Duane Jackson is a member of the Fireweed clan of the Gitanmaax people of Old Hazelton. He is a life partner and a father of three. He lived most of his life in Prince Rupert on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. Duane Jackson is a patient and family partner of HSO. He currently works as a Job Coach for TRICORP, supporting program participants in employment training and readiness. Jackson’s background is in early childhood education and development. Moreover, he has coached basketball for 32 years and has worked with children and adults alike. For the last decade, he has been a member of the Aboriginal Steering Committee at the Human Early Learning Partnership.