TWU partners with universities across B.C. on the project "Reclaiming and Recovering Indigenous Knowledge in Graduate Nursing Education"

Trinity Western University is among a group of six universities who are joint recipients of a $683,000 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant for a project to reclaim and recover Indigenous knowledge in graduate nursing education.

The project, "Reclaiming and Recovering Indigenous Knowledge in Graduate Nursing Education," in its abstract outlines the continuing need to improve health equity for Indigenous populations. The project seeks to address this need through developing Indigenous Health nursing graduate curricula, practices, and policies that incorporate Traditional and Western Knowledge pathways, through a “distinction-based approach that upholds the rights, strengths, and circumstances of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples.”

“We will partner with Indigenous communities to articulate their own actions for reconciliation and self-determination in Indigenous peoples' education and health that require a culturally appropriate and skilled workforce,” the project’s investigators state.

“Reconciliation in Canada must occur in and through all of our institutions, including higher education and health services, which this initiative brings together."

—  Dean of Nursing Dr. Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham

Researchers from six B.C. universities will partner with Indigenous communities on the project and work under the guidance of local Indigenous community leaders. Led by Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Associate Professor Dr. Lisa Bourque Bearskin and UBC Okanagan (UBCO) Associate Professor Dr. Donna Kurtz, the research team will integrate Indigenous knowledge into nursing education, working to “co-develop, implement, and evaluate culturally safe gender-relevant Indigenous health nursing pathways.”

Incorporating Indigenous knowledge, supporting Indigenous nurses

Faculty, researchers and graduate nursing students at UBCO, UBC (Vancouver), TRU, University of Victoria, University of Northern BC and Trinity Western will be taking part in this initiative that promotes Indigenous health knowledge and education.

Trinity Western's Dean of Nursing Dr. Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham and Director of the Master of Science Nursing Dr. Barbara Astle commented on the significance of this project as it relates to the work of reconciliation, in a TRU news release:

“Reconciliation in Canada must occur in and through all of our institutions, including higher education and health services, which this initiative brings together," they expressed.

"At a time of a global nursing shortage that cannot be addressed without preparing nurses at advanced master’s level, it is critical that all graduate nursing programs incorporate Indigenous knowledge and support Indigenous nurses. The graduate nursing initiative also builds capacity for the new BC Practice Standard on Indigenous Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility and Anti-racism.”

About TWU’s School of Nursing

The School of Nursing, within the ethos of a Christian university with liberal arts, sciences, and professions, engages students in the integration of faith, spirituality, and nursing. TWU Nursing is recognized as a leader in faith-integrated education and is accredited by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing. In addition to programs at the undergraduate (BSN) and graduate (MSN) levels, TWU’s School of Nursing is offering a ground-breaking PhD in Nursing program designed for nurses who are in or who want to be in academic positions, and those who work in or desire to work in health-care organizations. Learn more at TWU's PhD in Nursing

See also — TWU's Dr. Richard Sawatzky named winner of Canada’s 2021 Barer-Flood Prize in Health Services and Policy Research:
TWU News

About Trinity Western University

Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is Canada’s premier global Christian liberal arts university. We are dedicated to equipping students to discover meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. Drawing upon the riches of the Christian tradition, seeking to unite faith and reason through teaching and scholarship, Trinity Western University is a degree-granting 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. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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