Report from a Nutritional Intern in Saskatchewan

Véronique Dion-Cyr, who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition at the University of Ottawa, has completed a three-month internship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Départ Santé/Healthy Start (DSHS) and Réseau Santé en Français de la Saskatchewan (RSFS) intern carried out a variety of projects in the community. With the help of valuable collaborators, several events were held, mainly in Saskatoon and Regina.

It was good to have someone in a community health internship who was able to communicate in both languages. From the time she arrived, Veronique had many requests to work with various organizations, in the minority Francophone community, in particular, where there are plenty of opportunities,  She interviewed directors and educators and wrote educational articles on nutrition. Working with the Association des parents fransaskois (APF), she organized educational cooking workshops for families under the Healthy Together program, a health education program for parents.

A partnership with École canadienne-française de Saskatoon enabled students to attend workshops and presentations about nutrition, organized by the intern. She made presentations at the Journée d’accueil du nouvel arrivant and the Journéé du mieux-être, as well as doing an interview with ICI Saskatchewan. Students were also able to learn more about how to become a dietitian through Véronique’s career day presentations.

One distinctive feature, in terms of nutrition, is certainly the lack of food variety in Saskatchewan. Selection is limited for certain foods, such as some fruits and vegetables, fish, and seafood. Also, there are not a lot of food stores. This is the reality for people living in this province. Any organization working in the health field must be aware of this situation. However, the future dietitian is impressed that children are conscious of the importance of healthy eating. Younger generations are increasingly aware of nutrition.

In addition to the valuable assistance of the CNFS, Véronique was well supported and guided by her supervisors, Gabrielle Lepage-Lavoie, program manager, and Tracy Sentes, dietitian.

The experience exceeded her expectations and she recommends that anyone looking for a new and positive experience consider this internship! She will long remember her time in the province for the warm Fransaskois welcome and the bright blue sky.

The children are responding well to physical activity and are learning that their beating hearts say “Thank you” when they exercise.

- Pre-K Teacher, SK