Philibert Ruberandinda’s Story
I came to Canada (from Rwanda) in 2000. While I live and work in a larger community where I am a minority both because of the colour of my skin and my language (French), I feel privileged to work where I’m able to provide care to residents in their first language and in a workforce where there is a lot of diversity.
I’ve always known that as minorities – whether as francophones or as visible minorities – we need more voices to join us in order to be heard. There are challenges, but they are challenges that we can overcome if we do the work.
There are still moments where I’m faced with someone else’s perception of me. When I finished my master’s degree in public health, someone asked if the diploma was mine and I noticed the obvious surprise in their voice. I replied “of course” and didn’t let it put me down at all, but these things do happen.
Education and learning are part of our journey as human beings. Working in long-term care of course, there are people from different generations and what was accepted at that time was often very different.
In health care, our work is really based in our values and the values of the organization and team we work with. I feel inspired every day and fulfilled by the work I do as a nurse and leader. I encourage everyone, whether they are Black, francophone, or other minorities to consider working in health care. You will be surrounded by support and you will likely find people from your background, your community, your skin colour, and your language.
I am proud to be a Manitoban who is Black, Francophone, and a nurse with a leadership role in our health system.