Social Justice and Health Equity: Urban Aboriginal Women’s Action for Health Reform

By Donna L. M. Kurtz, deSales Turner, Jessie Nyberg and Diana Moar.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 11, 2014 Free Download

Urban Aboriginal women face ongoing racist and discriminatory practices within the Canadian health care system. This community-based, Indigenous-led study used locally developed Indigenous methodology and cultural traditions such as Talking Circles to provide culturally safe spaces for urban Aboriginal women living in western Canada to share their health care experience and visions for health care reform with health care providers, educators, and policy makers. The women identified social exclusion based on physical appearance, race, gender, and being “marked” as having an impact on all aspects of life including education, health, and human and Aboriginal rights. As co-researchers, their collective vision strategies for non-racist, non-discriminatory health care delivery included interdisciplinary curriculum development and delivery, academic forums, and education of health professionals and students, some of which they are currently involved in. Their vision and recommendations for social justice reform are offered to assist those interested in working towards a better future for Indigenous people.

Keywords: Health System Change, Health, Interdisciplinary, Exclusion, Aboriginal/Indigenous Health, Indigenous Knowledge/Methodology, Community Based Research

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 3, Issue 4, November 2014, pp.13-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 11, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 443.887KB)).

Dr. Donna L. M. Kurtz

Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Dr. Kurtz is an associate professor at the University of British Columbia, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada in the School of Nursing. She is a Métis registered nurse, educator, and researcher. Dr. Kurtz is involved in interdisciplinary student and professional culturally safe education and practice, in addition to health systems change to reduce health provision barriers, inequities, and disparities of Aboriginal people for improved holistic health.

Dr. deSales Turner

Principal Lecturer, School of Nursing, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

deSales Turner is a founding member of the School of Nursing, Deakin University, Australia. She taught in both the undergraduate and post-graduate programs, as well as supervised PhD students. She is recognized as a widely published hope scholar. deSales retired in 2007 and now enjoys living in the bush in North East Victoria with her husband Michael.

Jessie Nyberg

Adjunct Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Ms. Jessie Nyberg is a Secwepemc (Shuswap) Elder, nurse, and adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. She is an Elder advisor for several university and community education and health boards and research teams in areas of urban Aboriginal early infant and child development, urban Aboriginal health, and cultural safety.

Diana Moar

Aboriginal Patient Navigator, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

Diana Moar is an Anishnabe from Berens River First Nation Manitoba (Saulteaux) and a social worker. She works to ensure Aboriginal peoples have access to culturally safe and appropriate health care services/support within the health care system. She is involved in collaboration with Aboriginal community members and Elders and university faculty in cultural safety education and Aboriginal research aimed at improving the health of Aboriginal individuals, families, and communities.