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Nursing: Indigenous Health

A collection of resources for faculty and undergraduate and graduate nursing students.

Searching for Indigenous Health Resources

The main sources of information on Indigenous Health, are:

  • books/e-books
  • journal articles
  • grey literature

This page details some ways of searching for information specific to Indigenous Health.

Scholarly Articles on Indigenous Health

Most of the recent material on Indigenous Health will be found in scholarly/peer-reviewed articles.

This search returns more than 50,000 peer-reviewed articles on Indigenous Health. 

To add focus to the search, click on Advanced Search and add a specific health issue of interest.

This is the search string:

indigenous n3 health OR "first nations" n3 health OR aboriginal n3 health OR "native canadian*" n3 health

Search notes:

n3 is a proximity operator that looks for two concepts within 3 words of each other in either direction.

OR joins synonyms or near-synonyms, finding any of the terms.

"first nations" - double quotation marks search for the enclosed words as a strict phrase, including the exact word order.

Searching Online (Grey) Literature

Much valuable information on indigenous peoples' health and healthcare is published outside of the academic publishing stream. Typically referred to as grey literature, it is most easily accessed through web searching, and is particularly useful when retrieving local information that is underrepresented in the academic literature. It may be information collected and published by First Nations groups or studies that they have commissioned. Indigenous health policies at both the federal and provincial government levels are also an important source of this type of information. 

Below are a number of suggestions of how to set up a Google grey literature search. 

Indigenous Peoples




Other Variables, e.g. jurisdiction, band or nation's name, specific health condition, etc.

Choose the contents of one cell

Choose the contents of one cell

Choose one or more cells

indigenous OR "first nations" 

"Traditional knowledge"


aboriginal OR native

"Traditional medicine"

"British Columbia"

"Traditional healing"


"Traditional healthcare"




Filetype:pdf – this helps to focus results on formatted, published results. Usually this means fewer, better results.

Date – A rather imprecise limiter that may refer to the date an item was uploaded rather than when it was published.

-com – Will remove publications from the .com domain.

Other search suggestions:

  • Use Google, NOT Google Scholar or Bing. 
  • Keep the searches relatively simple. Complex searches from library databases don't work well in Google.
  • Once you have a search string in your browser and have reviewed the results, it's easy to replace search terms in the string and re-run the search to get different results.  
  • Set your browser preferences so it displays 100 results per page, which makes it much easier to scan results.

Example search string:
indigenous OR "first nations" "traditional healing" "Sto:lo" filetype:pdf canada

Web Resources on Indigenous Health

Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada (ANAC). (2009). Cultural competence and cultural safety
in nursing education: A framework for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nursing
. Ottawa, ON: Author. pdf

Indigenous Physicians’ Association of Canada (IPAC) & Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) (2009). First Nations, Inuit and Métis health core competencies: A curriculum framework for undergraduate medical educationpdf

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. (2007). Social determinants of Inuit health in Canada: A discussion paper. Ottawa, ON pdf

Driedger, S.M., Cooper, E., Jardine, C., Furgal, C. & Bartlett, J. (2013). Communicating risk to Aboriginal peoples: First Nations and Métis responses to H1N1 risk messagesPLoS ONE, 8(8), e71106. pdf

Firestone M., Smylie J., Maracle S., Spiller M.W. & O’Campo P. (2014). Using Respondent Driven Sampling to Unmask the Disparities in Social Determinants of Health for Urban First Nations People Living in Hamilton, OntarioBMJ Open 2014(4):e004978. pdf

Ghosh, H. & Spitzer, D. (2014). Inequities in diabetes outcomes among urban First Nation and Métis communities: Can addressing diversities in preventive services make a difference? The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 5(1). pdf

Reading, C.L. & Wien, F. (2009).Health Inequalities and Social Determinants of Aboriginal Peoples' Health. Prince George, BC: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. pdf

E-Books on Aboriginal Health

Aboriginal Health & Health Care in Canada

A search of e-books on Aboriginal health in Canada. Click here to run the search (requires TWU login).

This is the search string:

indigenous n3 health OR "first nations" n3 health OR aboriginal n3 health OR "native canadian*" n3 health

Search notes:

n3 is a proximity operator that looks for two concepts within 3 words of each other in either direction.

OR joins synonyms or near-synonyms, finding any of the terms.

"first nations" - double quotation marks search for the enclosed words as a strict phrase, including the exact word order.

Print Books on Aboriginal Health

aboriginal health in canada

Some relevant print titles on Aboriginal health in Canada. Click here to view the search and full information about the titles (requires TWU login).

Arya, A. N., & Piggott, T. (2018). Under-served : health determinants of Indigenous, inner-city, and migrant populations in Canada. Canadian Scholars. 

Raphael, D. (2016). Social determinants of health : Canadian perspectives (Third edition.). Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc. 

Greenwood, M., De Leeuw, S., Lindsay, N. M., & Reading, C. (2015). Determinants of indigenous peoples’ health in Canada : beyond the social. Canadian Scholars’ Press. 

Daschuk, J. W. (2013). Clearing the Plains : disease, politics of starvation, and the loss of Aboriginal life. U of R Press. 

Meijer Drees, L. (2013). Healing histories : stories from Canada’s Indian hospitals. University of Alberta Press. 

Rutherdale, M. (2010). Caregiving on the periphery : historical perspectives on nursing and midwifery in Canada. McGill-Queen’s University Press. 

Kirmayer, L. J., & Valaskakis, G. G. (2009). Healing traditions : the mental health of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. UBC Press. 

Waldram, J. B., Herring, A., & Young, T. K. (2006). Aboriginal health in Canada : historical, cultural, and epidemiological perspectives (2nd ed.). University of Toronto Press. 

Waldram, J. B. (2004). Revenge of the windigo : the construction of the mind and mental health of North American Aboriginal peoples. University of Toronto Press. 

Canadian Arctic contaminants assessment report. (2003). Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. 

Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative : evaluation framework. (2002). Health Canada. 

Lane, P. (2002). Mapping the healing journey : the final report of a First Nation research project on healing in Canadian Aboriginal communities. Solicitor General Canada. 

Stout, M. D., & Kipling, G. D. (2002). The Health Transition Fund. The Fund. 

Todd, R., Thornton, M., & Collins, D. N. (2001). Aboriginal people and other Canadians : shaping new relationships. University of Ottawa Press. 

Wentworth, J., Gibbons, A., & Whiting, J. (2001). Final report, Health Transition Fund Project NA1012 : Diabetes Community/Home Support Services for First Nations and Inuit. Health Canada. 

Lux, M. K., & Lux, M. K. (2001). Medicine that walks : disease, medicine, and Canadian Plains native people, 1880-1940. University of Toronto Press. 

Kelm, M.-E. (1998). Colonizing bodies : aboriginal health and healing in British Columbia, 1900-50. UBC Press.