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Throughout February, Crandall University is celebrating Black History Month by highlighting some of the men and women who have been part of the growth of diversity and equality in Atlantic Canada.
This highlight looks at Clotilda Yakimchuk.
Born and raised in Whitney Pier, Nova Scotia, Clotilda Yakimchuk was the first Black graduate from the Nova Scotia Hospital of Nursing in 1954. Despite the initial discrimination that Clotilda often experienced as one of the only black nurses in the hospital, Yakimchuk persevered and dedicated fifty years of her life to her field, eventually adding titles to her resume like “Nursing Supervisor” and “Director of Staff Development”. In addition to these titles, Yakimchuk was also made the President of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Nova Scotia, making her the only elected Black president the organization had had in a hundred years.
Thankfully, Clotilda has received plenty of recognition for her contributions to nursing, including the Order of Canada in 2003, the national Harry Jerome Award for her community achievements, and the College of Registered Nurses Association of Nova Scotia Centennial Award of Distinction.
Beyond her nursing career, Clotilda has always worked to make a difference in her community. She was the founding President of the Black Community Development Organization which aims to provide affordable housing in low-income areas, and she is a committed fundraiser and mentor for black youth.
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