Uncovering Aboriginal Nursing Knowledge through Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR)

Josephine Etowa, Sister Veronica Matthews, Adele Vukic, Charlotte Jesty


The significant under-representation of Aboriginal peoples in the health professions is problematic. Increasing representation is a promising strategy to narrow the gap in access to appropriate health care for Aboriginal peoples. A critical examination of the experiences of Aboriginal nurses working within the system enhances knowledge for promoting increased representation. This paper presents the Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) process of a study with Aboriginal nurses in Atlantic Canada. The paper describes the innovative use of capacity building strategies to actively engage team members in all aspects of the research and in addressing the three goals of CBPR; research, education and action. The paper concludes with discussion of the significant role that CBPR can play in enabling people, especially those who have been historically marginalized, to reclaim their voices and engage in the participatory appraisal of the issues influencing the health and health care of Aboriginal peoples in the region.

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