A nurse working in her home community of Behchoko, N.W.T., is getting an Award of Excellence in Nursing from Health Canada's First Nations and Inuit Health Branch.

Lianne Mantla was presented with the award this morning in Ottawa.

Lianne Mantla

Lianne Mantla, a nurse working in her home community of Behchoko, N.W.T., is getting an Award of Excellence in Nursing from Health Canada's First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. (courtesy of Lianne Mantla)

Mantla is currently the acting nurse in charge in Behchoko and says working in the community where she grew up can be challenging but it's also rewarding.

"When I first started working I took in an elderly lady and I brought her into my exam room, and then she sat down and she says to me in broken English, 'Don't you need an interpreter?' and then I said to her in Tlicho, 'Why would I need an interpreter? I understand you just fine.'"

Mantla graduated from the Northern Nursing Program at Aurora College in 2003 and in 2012, she got her degree from the University of Alberta.

The First Nations and Inuit Health Branch recognizes three nurses each year through a nomination process.

It says one of the reasons why Mantla was chosen is because she is the only person from her region to earn a degree in nursing.

Over her 11 year career, Mantla has nursed in Yellowknife, New Brunswick and Edmonton. She says family brought her home to work in Behchoko, where she hopes to empower her community members to take better care of their health.

Rachel Munday of Aklavik, N.W.T., and Alison Lynch of South Indian Lake in Manitoba are the other two recipients of the Award of Excellence in Nursing this year.