Indigenous Nursing Initiative

In 2009 the Faculty of Nursing received funding from the Provost's Office to develop an Indigenous Nursing Initiative. The key goals of this initiative are:

  • To increase enrollment of Indigenous nursing students
  • To provide ongoing support to Indigenous students in the Faculty of Nursing
  • To honour and acknowledge an Indigenous knowledge system that will inform curriculum
  • To build capacity among students and faculty
  • To develop reciprocal relationships with northern Alberta Indigenous communities.

The Indigenous Nursing Advisory Committee was established to guide the Faculty of Nursing in the achievement of these goals.

With the advent of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, changes have been made to the Indigenous Nursing Initiatives. The Indigenous Nursing Coordinator position has been increased from two to three days/week. The focus currently is:

  • To build knowledge capacity among faculty and students regarding the TRC, including the history of Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples, colonization, reconciliation and decolonization as well as a focus on settler-allyship.
  • To honour and acknowledge an Indigenous knowledge system that will inform a new curriculum
  • To continue to provide ongoing support to Indigenous nursing students
  • To continue to develop reciprocal relationships with northern Alberta Indigenous communities.

In addition, The Faculty of Nursing and other allied health faculties have put together a working group to create an interdisciplinary Indigenous health course for health professions students to take.

Indigenous Student Opportunities

Indigenous Student Services Centre
The Indigenous Nursing Coordinator collaborates with Indigenous Student Services Centre (ASSC) and encourages students to participate in events and utilize the support and resources offered through ASSC that include Elder services, smudging, computer lab access, library access, monthly bannock and stew lunches, and connecting with other Indigenous students.

Declaring Indigenous Status
To self-identify your Indigenous ancestry at the University of Alberta within the meaning of the Canadian Constitutional Act of 1982, please click here.

Volunteer opportunities in the Indigenous context are available for all nursing students throughout the year including: USchool, Discovery Days, Horizon Days, TAWOW events, and the annual University of Alberta Round Dance.

A bi-monthly newsletter is sent to all self-identified Aboriginal nursing students. This newsletter includes information on funding, resources and Aboriginal community events at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton and surrounding areas.

Undergraduate Accredited Courses

Indigenous Canada: Looking Forwards/Looking Back (NS 200)
This course is for students from faculties outside the Faculty of Native Studies with an interest in acquiring a basic familiarity with Indigenous/non-Indigenous relationships, particularly those in Alberta, and consists of a survey of historical and contemporary relationships between Indigenous peoples and newcomers with the aim of expanding the understandings held by many Canadians about these relationships.

Faculty and Staff Opportunities

Two key goals of the Indigenous Nursing Initiative are to honour and acknowledge an Indigenous knowledge system that will inform curriculum, and build capacity among students and faculty. In focusing on these goals, there are events planned throughout the school year such as Indigenous Book Club, Video series and various brown bag lunch events.

The Indigenous Nursing Coordinator is available to assist staff in locating resources and information regarding cross-cultural understanding and cultural safety relative to Indigenous cultures, Canadian-Indigenous history and social discourse, and current issues within the Canadian-Indigenous context.

National Partnerships through Current Memoranda of Understanding

Community Partnerships

Indigenous Nursing Advisory Committee
To guide the Indigenous nursing initiatives and goals, the Faculty of Nursing established the Indigenous Nursing Advisory Committee. This committee serves as an advisor on the design and development of Indigenous initiatives in the faculty, ensuring alignment with the strategic objectives related to nursing practice, teaching, research and citizenship. The advisory committee is comprised of students, community stakeholders, and faculty who have come together to contribute to the vision of the excellence of Indigenous initiatives in the Faculty of Nursing.

Indigenous community partners that are/have been represented on the Indigenous Nursing Advisory Committee include:

  • Indigenous Nurses Association of Canada
  • Aboriginal Student Services Centre
  • Alberta Health Services
  • Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society
  • Blue Quills First Nations College
  • Edmonton Public School Board
  • First Nations and Inuit Health
  • Maskwacis Health Services
  • Métis Settlements General Council
  • The Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations of Alberta
  • Treaty Eight First Nations of Alberta
  • Yellowhead Tribal College

Blue Quills University Tours and Cultural Camp

Blue Quills First Nations College offers a five-day cultural camp during the last week of May. The camp is open to people of all cultures and provides an excellent opportunity for students and faculty to learn about Cree culture.

Blue Quills First Nations College is housed in a former residential school. Tours are available to learn about the history of this particular residential school and the lives of the students who attended.

Indigenous Knowledge

These few resources provide a variety of viewpoints and address diverse issues of Indigenous peoples. They are merely a selection and a starting point in a journey of learning.


  • Adams, C., Dahl, G., & Peach, I. (Eds). (2013). Métis in Canada: History, Identity, Law & Politics. Edmonton, Canada: University of Alberta Press.
  • Campbell, M. (1973). Halfbreed. Toronto, Canada: The Canadian Publishers.
  • Dickason, O. (2006). A Concise History of Canada's First Nations. Toronto, Canada: Oxford University Press.
  • Douglas, V.K. (2013). Introduction to Aboriginal Health and Health Care in Canada: Bridging Health and Healing. New York, NY: Springer Publications.
  • Guimond, E, Stout, M.D., & Valaskakis, G.G. (2009). Restoring the Balance: First Nations Women, Community and Culture. Winnipeg, Canada: University of Manitoba Press.
  • Kovach, M. (2009). Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations and Contexts. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Free Press.
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (2012). They Came for the Children: Canada Aboriginal Peoples and Residential Schools. Winnipeg, Canada: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
  • Tuhiwai-Smith, L (2012). Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. New York, NY: Zed Books.
  • Wagamese. R. (2012) Indian Horse. Vancouver, Canada: Douglas & McIntyre.
  • Waldram, J.B, Young, T.K., & Herring, A. (2006). Aboriginal Health in Canada: Historical, Cultural and Epidemiological Perspectives. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

Organizations and Websites Blogs


Employment Opportunities through Health Canada