Laura McNab-Coombs is an ambitious Métis woman who works hard to be a role model for both her daughter and other indigenous youth. Coming from a challenging childhood, Laura had her daughter at a young age, taking upon herself a large responsibility. Instead of allowing this experience to prevent her from moving forward in life, she used it as an opportunity for growth and healing. As a single mother, Laura went back to school to pursue an education in the field of science, with hopes of gaining admission into medical school in the future.
Since beginning her academic career, she has won awards in Biology, History, and Anthropology, at Selkirk College, and has recently gained admissions into UNBC’s Bachelor of Health Sciences in Biomedical Studies for the Fall of 2018. She will be writing her MCAT this summer and sending off her first round of medical school applications throughout the country.
Outside of her school endeavors, Laura is a fitness instructor in her community, promoting health and wellness in all that she does. She is an active volunteer in both the indigenous and non-indigenous community, always contributing to indigenous events coordinated through the aboriginal services department at her local college, being a loyal volunteer for her local SPCA for the past few years, and this past summer began volunteering for her local CrisisLine.
In her community, she recently has become the Nelson & District Metis Youth Representative and has already begun to be actively involved in helping to re-establish the charter since its recent change of leadership. She is excited to have the opportunity to engage with her local Metis community and work to try and not only engage more youth but, to also help co-ordinate cultural and health-related activities for the people in her Metis community.
Laura is motivated to become a physician so that she can work actively within rural indigenous communities to help combat the unique health concerns that they face. However, she is not waiting until medical school to try and influence change. She has spent the past few years designing what has now become the “SpiritFit Nutritional Wellness Workshop”, a workshop designed to be brought into indigenous communities throughout BC and teach the fundamentals of human nutrition for disease prevention and management, in a culturally respectful manner. This past February she launched the first run of the program, partnering with Westbank First Nation (WFN) to apply for a grant from the FNHA and bring her program to their community. It was an absolute success, and now Laura is currently working on developing a secondary workshop to be under the SpiritFit umbrella, around physical fitness and exercise for disease prevention and management, while also working to have SpiritFit become registered as a non-profit and coordinating a summer program delivery with WFN for the upcoming summer.