she is a trailblazer

Donna May



What inspires a young Inuk girl to become a heart surgeon? Donna May explains how her trailblazing mother, Julia, and other family members inspired her to become the first Inuk heart surgeon in Canada.

About this video: Algonquin Territory and Inuit

This video was filmed on the unceded territory of the Algonquin people in what is now called Ottawa. The Chaudière Falls and Victoria Island on the Ottawa River is a traditional meeting place of the Algonquin and other First Nations. Today, Ottawa is home to thousands of Indigenous people including the largest Inuit population outside of Nunavut. For many Inuit it is a destination for education, healthcare, politics, employment, community, consumer goods and more.

Like other Inuit, Julia, originally from Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut, moved to Ottawa for her career (first in 1984 and then permanently in 1994). She currently works for the Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy.

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