Decolonizing Sexual Health Nursing With Aboriginal Women

Janet Kelly


Nurses striving to provide quality health care for and with Indigenous individuals and communities in Australia face particular challenges. Past and present discriminatory or non-responsive health-care practices and policies have caused many Aboriginal women and their families to mistrust health-care professionals and practices. It is vital that nurses develop culturally safe and respectful ways of working in partnership with Aboriginal colleagues and clients. The author discusses how nurses in both Canada and Australia have drawn on critical and postcolonial feminist theories, Indigenous epistemologies and methodologies, and models of cultural safety to develop a more responsive, decolonizing approach to health care and training. Two practice examples from the Australian context highlight both the challenges and the benefits of incorporating decolonizing approaches into practice. The similarities in and differences between situations reveal a clear need for responsive and flexible decolonizing approaches.

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