Nurses Learning Our Way, From the Land, With the People

A Collaborative Experience


  • Joanna Fraser North Island College
  • Evelyn Voyageur
  • Paul Willie
  • Patricia R. Woods
  • Victoria Dick
  • Kate Moynihan
  • Jennifer Spurr
  • Heather McAnsh
  • Cara Tilston
  • Heidi Deagle



Immersioni Learning, Indigenous Research Methodology, Nursing Curriculum, Transformational Learning, Cultural Safety


The story of land-based immersion learning for nursing students in remote First Nations communities is told through the stories of ten authors. We represent a collaboration between First Nations Knowledge Keepers, nursing students, and nursing faculty. Our inquiry draws on Indigenous knowledge paradigms and research methodologies. Currently in the preliminary stages of gathering our findings, we are learning how transformation happens through culturally safe relationships and ethical learning spaces. We are learning that inquiry requires commitment, authenticity, and a respect for differences. Most importantly, we are learning that nurses need to uncover ingrained and colonized assumptions in order to imagine new possibilities for learning and inquiring with Indigenous people and communities. 


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Author Biographies

Joanna Fraser, North Island College

Joanna Fraser, RN, DEd (lead author) lives in We Wi Kum territory and is of European ancestry. She is a member of the nursing faculty at North Island College and completing her DEd in Culturally Inclusive Place Based Learning at Simon Fraser University

Evelyn Voyageur

Evelyn Voyageur is of the Dzawada’enuxw tribe of Kingcome Inlet. She has been an Elder in Residence at North Island College since 2005.  Among many other awards for her work supporting the health of her people, inclusiveness and curriculum reconciliation she is the 2018 recipient of the Indspire award for Health.

Paul Willie

Paul  Willie is Dzawada’enuxw, well versed in academic and traditional teachings is currently working as tribal manager in Wuikinuxv, focusing on establishing socio-economic certainty for Wuikinuxv in the modern day treaty making process.

Patricia R. Woods

Patricia R. Woods, RN, PhD is of mixed European settler ancestry. She is a member of the nursing faculty at Vancouver Island University and a PhD nursing student at the University of Victoria.


Victoria Dick

Victoria Dick is from the Tseshaht (c̓išaaʔatḥ) and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and a recent graduate from the Bachelor of Nursing Program at North Island College

Kate Moynihan

Kate Moynihan is an immigrant to Canada of Irish, Welsh, and Polish ancestry and a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Nursing Program at North Island College.


Jennifer Spurr

Jenn Spurr is a settler completing her Nursing Degree at North Island

Heather McAnsh

Heather McAnsh, a settler of European ancestry, is completing her Nursing Degree at North Island College.

Cara Tilston

Cara Tilson is a nursing instructor at North Island College. She has a master’s degree in health leadership with a rural and Indigenous focus.

Heidi Deagle

Heidi Rainbow Deagle is a member of the Nursing Faculty at North Island College.  She acknowledges the land and peoples of her birthplace, Haida Gwaii, with being her most influential teachers- Haawa.


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How to Cite

Fraser, J., Voyageur, E. ., Willie, P., Woods, P. R. ., Dick, V., Moynihan, K., Spurr, J., McAnsh, H., Tilston, C. ., & Deagle, H. (2020). Nurses Learning Our Way, From the Land, With the People: A Collaborative Experience. Witness: The Canadian Journal of Critical Nursing Discourse, 2(1), 25–38.