Etuaptmumk (Two-Eyed Seeing) and Ethical Space: Ways to Disrupt Health Researchers’ Colonial Attraction to a Singular Biomedical Worldview


  • Moneca Sinclaire University of Manitoba College of Nursing
  • Annette Schultz College of Nursing, University of Manitoba
  • Janice Linton University of Manitoba
  • Elizabeth McGibbon Rankin School of Nursing, St. Francis Xavier University



Indigenous Peoples; Nursing and Health Research; Etuaptmumk (Two-Eyed Seeing); Ethical Space; Reconciliation


Indigenous research on Turtle Island has existed for millennia, where knowledge(s) to work with the land and its inhabitants are available for next generations. These knowledge systems exist today but are rarely viewed as valid biomedical ‘facts’ and so are silenced. When Indigenous knowledge is solicited within health research, the knowledge system is predominantly an ‘add-on’ or is assimilated into Western understandings. We discuss disrupting this colonial state for nurse researchers. Two concepts rooted in Indigenous teachings and knowledges, Etuaptmumk (Two-Eyed Seeing) and Ethical Space, shed light on ways to disrupt health researchers’ attraction to a singular worldview which continue to privilege Western perspectives. Knowledge rooted in diverse knowledge systems is required to challenge colonial relations in health research and practice. A synergy between Etuaptmumk and Ethical Space can support working with both Indigenous and biomedical knowledge systems in health research and enhance reconciliation.


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Author Biographies

Moneca Sinclaire, University of Manitoba College of Nursing

 is a Research Associate, University of Manitoba College of Nursing. She is of Néhinan (Cree) descent and her thirty-year career in health has focused specifically on Indigenous health by and for Indigenous peoples. She is a passionate multi-visual artist who is a mother; and aunt to many children.

Annette Schultz, College of Nursing, University of Manitoba

Dr. Annette Schultz is a Canadian nurse researcher who explores health services and policy contexts in relation to health priorities. While individuals’ behaviours and their social and economic locations play a role in health status, health systems and policies also play a dynamic role in health status. Over the last 7 years, five of her funded research studies work with First Nation People; exploring heart health, diabetes and cancer experiences within Manitoba. In all of these studies, she integrates diverse methodological approaches, which are guided by principles of two-eyed seeing and decolonizing methodologies from conception to translation. The University of Manitoba Campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Metis Nation.

Janice Linton, University of Manitoba

Janice Linton is the Indigenous Health Liaison Librarian at the University of Manitoba. Since 1998, she has been responsible for developing and maintaining the libraries’ Indigenous Health Collection & Services. Located within the Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library, in the dedicated space known as Kanee Ga Ni-What Kee-Kandamowin Anishinabeck (First Peoples Place of Learning), this collection of materials is the only special collection devoted solely to Indigenous health found in an academic medical library in Canada. The University of Manitoba Campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Metis Nation.

Ms. Linton is descended from Scottish and English 19th century settlers who settled on the lands of the Anishnaabeg, First Nations Peoples of the Mississauga Nation in the decades following the signing of Treaty 19 by Chief Adjutant (Ajetans), Chief of the Eagle Tribe of the Mississauga Nation, and a representative of the Crown.  She was raised in Nogojiwanong, on the traditional lands of the Michi Saagiig (Mississauga) Anishnaabeg.

Elizabeth McGibbon, Rankin School of Nursing, St. Francis Xavier University

Dr. Elizabeth McGibbon is a professor with the Rankin School of Nursing, St. Francis Xavier University. She is an applied critical health social scientist and a settler living in Mi'kmaqi, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq people. Her focus is on how public policy created oppression “gets under the skin” to deepen disadvantage and create intergenerational health damage. She is particularly interested in synergies among the structural determinants of health (colonialism, capitalism...), the ecological determinants of health (climate crises, ecotoxicity, deforestation...), and the social determinants of health.  



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How to Cite

Sinclaire, M., Schultz, A., Linton, J., & McGibbon, E. (2021). Etuaptmumk (Two-Eyed Seeing) and Ethical Space: Ways to Disrupt Health Researchers’ Colonial Attraction to a Singular Biomedical Worldview. Witness: The Canadian Journal of Critical Nursing Discourse, 3(1), 57–72.