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Remembering Barbara Ronson

[Posted with the kind permission of Irving Rootman]
 
On March 22nd the field of health promotion in Canada lost a valued colleague. Barbara Ronson McNichol died suddenly and tragically in Sudbury. I had the pleasure and privilege of working with Barbara when I was Director of the Centre for Health Promotion at the University of Toronto from 1990-2002.
 
During this time period she contributed significantly to the development and operation of the Centre as a Fellow, bringing to bear her background in education and evaluation.  After I left the Centre she continued to collaborate with myself and other colleagues in Canada on several papers and chapters related to literacy and health, the most recent of which was published last year in the 3^rd edition of /Social Determinants of Health /edited by Dennis Raphael.
 
This chapter was notable because of her addition of the meaning of literacy and health literacy in the context of Indigenous communities drawn from her work in Indigenous health promotion and her recent life in an Indigenous community in Northern Ontario, especially her experience with Camp Eagle Nest, a non-profit organization that she founded and ran with her husband Clyde McNichol to provide Northern Ontario youth with wilderness opportunities grounded in first Nations culture.
 
Moreover, she recently fought beside Clyde to save forests from logging in his ancestral lands. Barbara was truly an intelligent, kind and courageous person who will be missed sorely by her family, friends, community and colleagues.
 
Irving Rootman