Community Memories from Kathleen Mary (Jo) Lutley

Jo Lutley

Kathleen Mary Lutley was a dedicated northern pioneer, nurse-midwife, educator, administrator and humanitarian, who spent many years of devoted service to the people of Northern Canada.

Born in Devon England and in 1956 she responded to a British newspaper advertisement stating:  “Pioneer nurse wanted for North Labrador.”  This began a 26 year career in health services in Canada’s North.  She spent time in Labrador, Baffin Island and Quebec before settling in Thompson.

Whether delivering babies in teepees, nursing stations or airplanes, nursing Inuit patients in snow houses, or dog sledding miles across the ice to immunize children, Kathleen Lutley displayed an eagerness and willingness to provide the best treatment and preventative health services to the people she served.

In 1986 received the Order of Canada. Her life epitomizes much of the courage, hard work and dedication of untold number of nurses who, throughout the years, have provided health care services to the people of Canada often living in the most remote parts of our vast country.