Dr. Kendra Rieger and TWU School of Nursing advance Indigenous perspectives in healthcare

Trinity Western University congratulates Dr. Kendra Rieger from the School of Nursing for receiving the prestigious Michael Smith Foundation Health Research Scholar (MSFHR) award. Funded by the Province of BC, the MSFHR Scholar award will support Dr. Rieger's work in advancing Indigenous perspectives and promoting more equitable access to healthcare, through the arts.

Dean of the School of Nursing, Dr. Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham, believes that Dr. Rieger's award could not be more timely.

“TWU School of Nursing is joining all nursing programs across the country in responding to the TRC's Calls to Action,” Dr. Reimer-Kirkham said.

“Dr. Rieger's program of research engages settler Canadians with Indigenous communities to do the important work of decolonization and reconciliation. To do so at a Christian university carries special responsibility and opportunity, in light of the historical involvement of churches and faith communities in the colonial project.”

Associate Provost of Research, Dr. Richard Chandra agrees, commenting:

“Receiving this award is a tremendous victory for Dr. Rieger, the TWU School of Nursing and the TWU research community as a whole. The Michael Smith Scholar Award will undoubtedly serve as a major part of the foundation upon which Dr. Rieger’s excellent research program will continue to grow, and it exemplifies the high quality and breadth of the research activities occurring within the TWU School of Nursing.”


The 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls for Indigenous’ knowledge and practices to be included in healthcare. But as can be seen in recent, troubling news stories and reports, Indigenous peoples often face racism and barriers to care. The purpose of Dr. Rieger’s studies is to work together with Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to create more meaningful paths towards reconciliation and equitable healthcare through the arts.


Responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls for Indigenous’ knowledge and practices to be included in healthcare. But as can be seen in recent, troubling news stories and reports, Indigenous peoples often face racism and barriers to care.

Dr. Rieger and other healthcare professionals are exploring new ways to lower these barriers – through artform.

“People are becoming interested in using storytelling and the arts to listen to Indigenous peoples’ views so we can change healthcare to better meet their needs and priorities,” Dr. Rieger said.


Critical, arts-based methods offer new approaches to move towards reconciliation and address complex problems underpinning these inequities to affect systemic change. In her research, Dr. Rieger will collaborate with Indigenous peoples to address the question: what are meaningful paths towards reconciliation in healthcare through the arts as a way of knowing, disrupting, and healing?


Reconciliation, through equitable healthcare

The purpose of Dr. Rieger’s studies is to work together with Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to create more meaningful paths towards reconciliation and equitable healthcare through the arts.

Dr. Rieger, together with a team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners, will look at the research using storytelling in Indigenous health research. Then, Dr. Rieger will lead three studies to investigate arts-based strategies to support healthcare students in responding to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Report; explore First Nations peoples’ cancer experiences using digital storytelling; and develop arts-based programs to support Indigenous patients facing illness.


The findings will help Canadians to include Indigenous perspectives and practices in healthcare to move towards reconciliation and address differences in health. 


Arts-based methods for addressing complex issues

Critical, arts-based methods offer new approaches to move towards reconciliation and address complex problems underpinning these inequities to affect systemic change.

In her research, Dr. Rieger will collaborate with Indigenous peoples to address the question: what are meaningful paths towards reconciliation in healthcare through the arts as a way of knowing, disrupting, and healing?

This research program includes four interrelated projects with the following objectives: 1) conduct a participatory, critical review of storytelling methods in Indigenous health research, and building on this work, 2) investigate arts-based strategies to support healthcare students in responding to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Report, 3) explore intersecting barriers to care for First Nations peoples with cancer using digital storytelling, and 4) develop arts-based interventions as culturally safe healing practices to support Indigenous patients facing complex illnesses. This research will target multi-level leverage points that are amenable to change and enable the integration of Indigenous peoples’ perspectives and practices into healthcare systems. 

The findings will help Canadians to include Indigenous perspectives and practices in healthcare to move towards reconciliation and address differences in health. 

About the MSFHR Scholar award

Funded by the Province of BC, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) is British Columbia’s health research funding agency.

The MSFHR Scholar award is granted to select, outstanding early career BC health researchers, to support them in developing new and innovative programs of research.

About Dr. Kendra Rieger

Dr. Kendra Rieger is Assistant Professor of Nursing at TWU. She is passionate about working collaboratively with patients, stakeholders, and colleagues to conduct qualitative and mixed-methods research and creatively share findings in a meaningful way.

Dr. Rieger has received numerous awards for research excellence, including a Society for Integrative Oncology New Investigators’ Forum Award, Association of Registered Nurses of Manitoba Medal of Excellence, and CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award.


See alsoNursing instructor and Indigenous consultant Kathleen Lounsbury helps transform Trinity Western's education:​
 
TWU News


About Trinity Western University

Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is Canada’s premier Christian liberal arts university dedicated to equipping students to establish meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. It is a fully accredited research institution offering liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has four campuses and locations: Langley, Richmond-Lansdowne, Richmond-Minoru, and Ottawa. TWU emphasizes academic excellence, research, and student engagement in a vital faith community committed to forming leaders to have a transformational impact on culture. Learn more at www.twu.ca or follow us on Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.

For media inquiries, please contact: media@twu.ca.

TWU NOW

Today is #GivingTuesday! On this international day to honour generosity, giving, and volunteering, let us remember those affected by the B.C. floods.

We invite you to find ways to share the spirit of generosity through your time, talent and treasure.

https://t.co/84r6u4LTnT https://t.co/7fiZIG4fOE

2 days ago

In anticipation of the severe storm front forecasted to arrive in BC, most classes will be offered remotely for the next two days: Tuesday, Nov. 30, and Wednesday, Dec. 1.

Students, please check Moodle to confirm class changes.

Learn more at https://t.co/vR6cdwsFv6. https://t.co/cSxi6PcNQD

2 days ago

Langley students — want to switch up your study space this week? Head out to Minoru or Lansdowne campus in Richmond to study in their beautiful facilities! https://t.co/tLw8WzXqpp

5 days ago

WEATHER UPDATE: Classes on Friday, November 26 will resume as usual for Langley and Richmond campuses.

TWU continues to follow the B.C. weather situation closely. We will provide further updates to our community as the need arises at https://t.co/vR6cdwsFv6. https://t.co/u3xhpAY24n

6 days ago

Our Richmond Campus is excited to have their new Campus Pastor, Thomas Goodfellow (right)!

“We meet them where they’re at, and we help them to move forward and move in relationship with God.” — Thomas Goodfellow

Read more: https://t.co/h6VjN1caxE

#TWURichmond https://t.co/tMjlgkQwcd

1 week ago

WEATHER ALERT: Classes on Thursday, November 25 will be moved to online or remote access, where possible, for Langley and Richmond campuses. Students, please check Moodle for details on how to access each of your classes. Updates will be posted at https://t.co/vR6cdwsFv6. https://t.co/0soQfoY2gj

1 week ago