Mâmawoh Kamâtowin, "Coming together to help each other in wellness": Honouring Indigenous Nursing Knowledge

  • R. Lisa Bourque Bearskin University of Alberta
  • Brenda L. Cameron Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta Edmonton, AB, T6G 1C9
  • Malcolm King Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University Scientific Director CIHR - Institute for Aboriginal People’s Health
  • Cora Weber Pillwax Associate Profession, Indigenous Peoples Education Department Educational Policy Studies University of Alberta
Keywords: Indigenous research methodologies, Indigenous nurses, Indigenous nursing knowledge, nursing practice, Indigenous wellness.


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. 

Author Biographies

R. Lisa Bourque Bearskin, University of Alberta
Dr. Lisa Bourque Bearskin, RN PhD, is a member of Beaver Lake Cree Nation who works as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta. 
Brenda L. Cameron, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta Edmonton, AB, T6G 1C9
Professor Emeritus

Faculty of Nursing
Edmonton, AB, T6G 1C9


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