Volume 10 • 2023 • Issue 1

Atikamekw Nation, died in 2020 at a hospital in Quebec, but not before she had recorded footage of hospital staff making racist remarks towards her. After an inquiry, the Quebec Coroner concluded that racism and prejudice were contributing factors to Echaquan’s death. The Role of Protector Dr. McKinstry took on an academic position teaching and doing research into oral health and public policy, as well as clinical subjects, at the University of Saskatchewan, which she did for almost two years before parting from the university setting. In her position as a professor, her goals were the same as they’ve always been. She wants to use her knowledge and expertise to benefit First Nations children and communities. Dr. McKinstry’s children have grown into young adults. “I worried at times that my obvious struggles throughout my academic journey would discourage my children from higher education,” she says. “This worry was put at ease as my children went on to complete programs in college and university. In fact, my daughter is currently in a Masters of Public Health program.” In 2021, Dr. McKinstry and Natasha Newman founded the Indigenous Dental Association of Canada to improve Indigenous oral health with the support of Indigenous and non-Indigenous oral health providers, while respecting traditional ways of knowing. Back in the late 1990s, Dr. McKinstry learned her traditional Indigenous name, Wabishki mitadim ojichidaa ikwe, which means White Horse Warrior Woman, during a ceremony with Elder Jules Lavallee at Red Willow Lodge. “Receiving my traditional name is something I had been longing for without knowing it. We had lost our culture,” she says. “When my name and the responsibility that came with my name was told to me in ceremony, everyone gasped. It was explained that my name came with the responsibility to protect those who needed to be protected,” she says. “It is a huge responsibility, and it is a responsibility that I take quite seriously.” Dr. McKinstry was given the Anishinaabe name Wabishki mitadim ojichidaa ikwe, which can be translated as White Horse Warrior Woman. I realized that some of the families I was interviewing had water delivered to their homes and stored in cisterns or kept water in buckets. Lack of fluoridation was the least of their concerns. 26 | 2023 | Issue 1 Issues and People