26 Indigenization in Nursing Education Programs in Saskatchewan: A Critical Discourse Analysis

Delasi Essien


In response to Indigenous health as a priority, educating and graduating Indigenous nurses has been proposed to improve health outcomes and decrease health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of Canada. However, research has shown that Indigenous students’ representation remains low in many Canadian nursing schools as these students face formidable challenges stemming from colonial mechanisms entrenched in education and healthcare environments. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), established in 2008 released a final report in 2015, which contains 94 Calls to Action to all levels of society to redress the historical legacy of cultural assimilation against Indigenous peoples. Since the release of the TRC’s Calls to Actions, there has been a push within the nursing academy to indigenize nursing education. Critics have described such indigenization efforts as inherently colonialistic because the nursing profession is based on a colonial system of values. Therefore, for the indigenization of nursing education to have any real impact, it needs to be grounded in the decolonization of the academy. Using critical discourse analysis, this two-phased study aims to explore how indigenization deconstructs the structures of colonialism in nursing education and examines the ideologies and discourses that sustain, reproduce, and transform such structures. From a deconstructive lens, I will also elucidate where nursing education programs are located on the continuum of indigenization as a decolonizing process. Finally, I will situate nursing education’s conceptualization of reconciliation and indigenization within the context of the TRC’s Calls to Action.


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