Nursing the Nuu Chah Nulth Way

This project is a partnership with the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Nursing Services, four remote Nuu-chah- nulth (NCN) Nations, including Ahousaht First Nation, Hesquiaht First Nation, Kyuquot/Cheklesaht First Nation, and Huu-ay-aht First Nation, Thompson Rivers University, North Island College and the University of Victoria. The primary focus of this project is on the roles of nurses and health service providers to support the provision of providing culturally relevant primary health care to the communities.

Project Dates: June 2017 – April 2020
Students Hired: 3 BNS students have participated as part of their practicum experience

NIC’s Elder in Residence, Evelyn Voyageur, and BSN faculty, Joanna Fraser, visit a remote community.

Project Summary

By linking traditional Nuu-chah-nulth knowledge to wellness practices, exploring the complex historical, social, economic, and political context which contributes to racism and discrimination in accessing health care services; and generating “contextual knowledge” reflecting the lived experience of peoples in remote regions we hope to discover how to “Nurse the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Way” and work towards achieving equitable health outcomes in four isolated Nuu-chah-nulth communities. Our goal is to develop a community driven nursing approach through culturally safe and wellness focused services. We are also working together to further develop Indigenous ways of being, knowing, and doing health research that honours local and Indigenous methods for a transformative community-based inquiry.

Research Team

R. Lisa Bourque Bearskin
R. Lisa Bourque Bearskin, Primary Investigator
Jeannette Watts
Jeannette Watts, Co-investigator
Evelyn Voyageur
Evelyn Voyageur, Collaborator
Evelyn is from the Kwa-kwa-ka-wak Nation, of the Dzawadainox tribe in B.C. She is an Elder in Residence at North Island College and a leader in promoting culturally safe nursing practice and curriculum.
Joanna Fraser
Joanna Fraser, Collaborator
As a Nursing Instructor at North Island College, Joanna is engaged in a variety of inquiry projects that facilitate culturally safe and inclusive learning and practice environments with students, nurses, communities and Indigenous people.


Project Outcomes

The information gathered will help to improve the access and delivery of primary health care services in remote First Nations communities. We expect the potential benefits will lead to a process for realizing the vision of a community-led culturally congruent wellness-focused and integrated nursing service that might be useful for Indigenous communities more broadly.


Joanna Fraser
Joanna Fraser, Collaborator