Mâmawoh Kamâtowin, "Coming together to help each other in wellness": Honouring Indigenous Nursing Knowledge
This paper is the result of coming to know and better understand Indigenous nursing experience in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. Using an Indigenous research approach, I (first author) drew from the collective experience of four Indigenous nurse scholars and attended to the question of how Indigenous knowledge manifests itself in the practices of Indigenous nurses and how it can better serve individuals, families, and communities. This research framework centered on Indigenous principles, processes, and practical values as expressed in Indigenous nursing practice. The results were woven from key understandings and meanings of Indigeneity as a way of being. Central to this study was that Indigenous knowledge has always been fundamental to the ways that these Indigenous nurses have undertaken nursing practice, regardless of the systemic and historical barriers they faced in providing healthcare for Indigenous people. The results of this research demonstrated how Indigenous nurses consistently drew on their inherited Indigenous knowledge to deliver nursing care to Indigenous people. Their identity as Indigenous persons was integral to their identities as Indigenous nurses. Of significance is the personal and particular description of how these Indigenous nurse scholars developed their nursing approaches in relevance to how health and healthcare delivery must be integrated into healthcare systems as a pathway to reducing health disparities.
Allan, B., & Smylie, J. (2015). First Peoples, second class treatment: The role of racism in the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Toronto, ON: Wellesley Institute.
Archibald, J. (2008). Indigenous storywork: Educating the heart, mind, body and spirit. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press.
Battiste, M. (2013) Decolonizing education: Nourishing the learning spirit. Saskatoon, SK: Purich.
Bombay, A., Matheson, K., & Anisman, H. (2009). Intergenerational trauma: Convergence of multiple processes among First Nations people in Canada. Journal of Aboriginal Health, 5(3), 6–47.
Cameron, B. L. (2006). Towards understanding the unpresentable in nursing: Some nursing philosophical considerations. Nursing Philosophy, 7(1), 23–35. doi:10.1111/j.1466-769X.2006.00246.x
CIHR, NSERC, & SSHRC. (2014). Tri-council policy statement (TCPS2): Ethical conduct for research involving humans. Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Retrieved from Panel on Research Ethics website,
Government of Canada: http://www.pre.ethics.gc.ca/pdf/eng/tcps2-2014/TCPS_2_FINAL_Web.pdf
Couture, J. E. (1991). Explorations in native knowing. In W. J. Friesen (Ed.), The cultural maze: Complex questions on Native destiny in western Canada (pp. 53–73). Calgary, AB: Detselig Enterprises.
Dion Stout, M. (2012). Ascribed health and wellness, “Atikowisi miýwāyāwin,” to achieved health and wellness, “Kaskitamasowin miýw-āyāwin”: Shifting the paradigm. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 44(2), 11–14.
Ermine, W. (1995). Aboriginal epistemology. In M. Battiste & J. Barman (Eds.), First Nations education in Canada: The circle unfolds (pp. 101–112). Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press.
Ermine, W. (2007). Ethical space of engagement. Indigenous Law Journal, 6(1), 193–203.
Fridkin, A. (2012). Addressing health inequities through Indigenous involvement in health policy discourses. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 44(2), 108–122.
Gehl, L. (2012). Debwewin journey: A methodology and model of knowing. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 8(1), 53-65.
Hampton, E. (1995). Memory comes before knowledge: Research may improve if researchers remember their motives. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 21(Suppl.), 46–54.
Little Bear, L. (2000). Foreword. In G. Cajete (Ed.), Native science: Natural laws of interdependence (pp. x–xiii). Santa Fe, NM: Clear Light.
Little Bear, L. (2009). Jagged worldviews colliding. In M. Battiste (Ed.), Reclaiming Indigenous voice and vision (pp. 7–85). Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press.
King, T. (2003). The truth about stories. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Kirkness, V. J. (2013). Creating space: My life and work in Indigenous education. Winnipeg, MB: University of Manitoba Press.
Kirkness, V. J., & Barnhardt, R. (2001). First Nations and higher education: The four R’s—Respect, relevance, reciprocity, responsibility. In R. Hayoe & J. Pan (Eds.), Knowledge across cultures: A contribution to dialogue among civilizations (pp. 1–18). Retrieved from Assembly of First Nations website: http://www.afn.ca/uploads/files/education2/the4rs.pdf
Kovach, M. (2009). Indigenous methodologies: Characteristics, conversations, and context. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.
Kovach, M. (2013). Treaties, truths, and transgressive pedagogies: Re-imagining indigenous presence in the classroom. Socialist Studies, 9(1), 109-126.
McCallum, L. M. (2014). Indigenous women, work, and history. Winnipeg, MB: University of Manitoba Press.
McGibbon, E. A., & Etowa, J. B. (2009). Anti-racist health care practice. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars’ Press.
McLeod, N. (2007). Cree narrative memory: From treaties to contemporary times. Saskatoon, SK: Purich.
Meyer, M. (2003). Hawaiian hermeneutics and the triangulation of meaning: Gross, subtle, causal. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 27(2), 249–255.
Meyer, M. A. (2008). Indigenous and authentic: Native Hawaiian epistemology and the triangulation of meaning. In N. K. Denzin, Y. S.
Lincoln, & L. T. Smith (Eds.), Handbook of critical and Indigenous methodologies (pp. 217–232). doi:10.4135/9781483385686.n11
Pert, C. B. (1997). Molecules of emotion: Why you feel the way you feel. New York, NY: Scribner.
Preston, T. J. (2014). In the Provincial Court of Manitoba: In the matter of the Fatality Inquiries Act and in the matter of Brian Lloyd Sinclair, deceased. Winnipeg, MB: Provincial Court of Manitoba. Retrieved from http://www.manitobacourts.mb.ca/site/assets/files/1051/brian_sinclair_inquest_-_dec_14.pdf
Ranco, D. J. (2006). Toward a Native anthropology: Hermeneutics, hunting stories, and theorizing from within. Wicazo Sa Review, 21(2), 61–78. doi:10.1353/wic.2006.0022
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. (1996). Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Retrieved from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada website: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1307458586498/1307458751962
Smith, L. T. (2012). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (2nd ed.). London, UK: University of Otago Press.
Steinhauer, E. (2002). Thoughts on an Indigenous research
methodology. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 26(2), 69–81.
Struthers, R. (2001). Conducting sacred research: An Indigenous experience. Wicazo Sa Review, 16(1), 125–133. doi:10.1353/wic.2001.0014
Struthers, R. (2003). The artistry and ability of traditional women healers. Health Care for Women International, 24(4), 340–354. doi:10.1080/07399330390191706
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (2015). Honouring the truth, reconciling for the future: Summary of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Retrieved from http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/Findings/Exec_Summary_2015_05_31_web_o.pdf
Valaskakis, G. G., Dion Stout, M., & Guimond, E. (Eds.). (2009). Restoring the balance: First Nations women, community and culture. Winnipeg, MB: University of Manitoba Press.
Vukic, A., Jesty, C., Mathews, Sr. V., & Etowa, J. (2012). Understanding race and racism in nursing: Insights from Aboriginal nurses. International Scholarly Research Notices Nursing, 2012, 1–9. doi:10.5402/2012/196437
Weber-Pillwax, C. (1999). Indigenous research methodology: Exploratory discussion of an elusive subject. Journal of Educational Thought, 33(1), 31–45.
Weber-Pillwax, C. (2001). Coming to an understanding: A panel presentation: What is Indigenous research? Canadian Journal of Native Education, 25(2), 166–174.
Weber-Pillwax, C. (2003). Identity formation and consciousness with reference to Northern Alberta Cree and Métis Indigenous Peoples (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Alberta, Edmonton.
Weber-Pillwax, C. (2004). Indigenous researchers and Indigenous research methods: Cultural influences or cultural determinants of research methods. Pimatisiwin: A Journal of Aboriginal and Indigenous Community Health, 2(1), 77–90.
Weber-Pillwax, C. (2008). Citizenship and its exclusions. In A. A. Abdi, & L. Shultz (Eds.), Educating for human rights and global citizenship (pp. 193-204). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Wilson, S. (2008). Research is ceremony: Indigenous research methods. Winnipeg, MB: Fernwood.
Copyright (c) 2016 R. Lisa Bourque Bearskin, Brenda L. Cameron, Malcolm King, Cora Weber Pillwax
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this Journal.