Donna Kurtz

Associate Professor

School of Nursing
Other Titles: Indigenous Health Liaison, Indigenous Liaison
Office: RHS 120
Phone: 2508079627

Research Summary

Indigenous Health and Wellness Traditional and Western; Decolonizing Strength-based Approaches; Qualitative research; Cultural Safety education and practice

Courses & Teaching

Interdisciplinary Health:
HINT 408/508 Cultural Safety in Health: Indigenous Perspectives


Dr. Kurtz works with multi-sector university-Indigenous community Indigenous-led collaborative teams in cultural safety education and research beyond social determinants of health, to foster respectful anti-racist, non-discriminatory health care education, services and policy. Donna uses decolonizing gender relevant, equity based Indigenous research methodologies in health promotion and health system change that benefit Indigenous peoples and communities across generations. As the Faculty of Health and Social Development Indigenous Health Liaison, she supports Indigenous nursing student recruitment, retention, and peer mentorship. She works closely with and is guided by local Elders and Knowledge Keepers in community engagement, education, research and practice.


Indigenous Health Promotion and Cultural Safety Lab



PhD, Deakin University, Australia – Dissertation: Contributing to health reform: Urban Aboriginal women speak out
MN, Deakin University, Australia – Thesis: A community-based approach of action for heart health wellness in a small rural Canadian community.
BSN (Hons.) University of Victoria, Canada
Nursing Management/Leadership Certificate -Masters

Research Interests & Projects


Indigenous health (Traditional, Western) (urban, rural, remote); Health Promotion; Gender Equity; Cultural Safety education and practice; Chronic Disease Prevention and Management; Primary health care; Mental health; Women’s health; Decolonizing Strength-based Qualitative research; Community Led Participatory; Critical Perspectives;


Cariboo Friendship Society
Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society
Kelowna Metis Community Services BC
Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society
Lillooet Friendship Centre Society
Métis Community Services Society of BC
North Okanagan Friendship Center Society
Métis Nation British Columbia
UBC Southern Medical Program
Interior Health

Selected Publications & Presentations

  • (Last 4 years)
  • Kurtz, D.L.M., & Nyberg, J. (2022, in press). Learning from the Elders: Traditional knowledge and cultural Safety within health science education. In M. Greenwood, S. de Leew, R. Larstone, & R. Stout (Eds.) Introduction to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis determinants of health. Canadian Scholars’ Press.
  • Gresku, D., Jones. C., & Kurtz, D.L.M. (2022, in press). Collaborative evaluation frameworks for Indigenous-led community health Interventions: A scoping review. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation.
  • Jeffery, T., Kurtz, DLM., Jones, C. (2021, Oct). Two-Eyed Seeing: Current approaches and discussion of medical applications. BCMJ, 63(8), 321-325.
  • Kurtz, D.L.M., Janke, R., Barry, J., Cloherty, A., Shahram, S., & Jones, C. (2021). Learning from “Our Relations” Indigenous Peoples in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and United States: A review of culturally relevant diabetes and obesity interventions. International Indigenous Policy Journal, (12), 4.
  • Brockie, T., Clark, T.C., Best, O., Power, T., Bourque Bearskin, L., Kurtz, D.L., Lowe, J. & Wilson, D. (2021). Indigenous social exclusion to inclusion: Case studies on Indigenous nursing leadership in four high income countries. Journal of Clinical Nursing Studies, 1-15.
  • Snook, S., Kurtz, D. L. M., Cash, P.A, Vinek, J. (2020). Love in healthcare: A Gadamerian inquiry into nurses’ experience. International Journal of Health Wellness and Society, 10(1).
  • Jones, C.A., Siever, J., Knuff, K., Van Bergen, C..Mick, P. Little, J. Jones, G.R., Murphy, M.A., Kurtz, D., Miller, H. (2019). Walk, Talk and Listen: A pilot randomized controlled trial targeting functional fitness and loneliness in older adults with hearing loss. BMJ Open 2019, 9(4), 1-10. 9:e026169. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026169
  • Schill, K, Terbasket, E., Thurston, W., Kurtz, D., Page S., McLean, F., Jim, R., & Oelke, N.D. (2019). Everything is related and it all leads up to my mental wellbeing: A qualitative study of the determinants of mental wellness among urban Indigenous Elders. The British Journal of Social Work, 49(4), 860-879.
  • Kurtz, DLM, Janke, R., Vinek, J., Wells, T., Hutchinson, P., & Froste, A. (2018). Cultural safety education for health and social science students in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and United States. International Journal of Medical Education, 9, 271-285. Online October 25, 2018. doi:10.5116/ijme.5bc7.21e2
  • Jutras, M., Lambert, J., Hwang, J., Wang, L., Simon, S., Del Medico, T., Mick, P., Miller, H., Kurtz, D., Murphy, M., Jones, C.A. (2018). Targeting the psychosocial and functional fitness challenges of older adults with hearing loss: A participatory approach to adaptation of the walk and talk for your life program. International Journal of Audiology Early Online: 1-10; 20 March 20, 2018. doi: 10.1080/14992027.2018.1448945
  • Kurtz, D. LM., Mahara, S., Cash, P., Nyberg, J., & Estella Patrick Moller, E. (2017). Indigenous methodology in understanding Indigenous nurse graduate transition to practice. International Indigenous Policy Journal, 8(4). doi: 10.18584/iipj.2017.8.4.9 ttps:// doi: 10.18584/iipj.2017.8.4.9
  • Ribeiro, A.A., Aciole, G.G., Spinelli Arantes, C., Kurtz, D. L.M. & Rossi, L. (2017). Work process and production of care and the work process in Brazilian Indigenous health service. Processo de trabalho e produção do cuidado em um serviço de saúde indígena no Brasil Proceso de trabajo y producción de la atención en una institución brasileña de salud indígena.Escola Anna Nery, 21 (4), e20170029.
  • Guerra, O., & Kurtz, D. (2017). Building collaboration: A scoping review of cultural competency and safety education training for healthcare students and professionals. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 29(2), 129-142. doi:10.1080/10401334.2016.1234960.
  • Lambert, J., Ghadry-Tavi, R., Knuff, K., Jutras, M., Siever, J., Mick, P., …Jones, C. A. (2017). Targeting functional fitness, hearing and health-related quality of life in older adults with hearing loss: Walk, Talk “n” Listen, study protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial.Trials,18,
  • Shahram, S.Z., Bottorff, J.B., Oelke, N.D., Kurtz, D., Thomas, V., Spittal, P.M., and For the Cedar Project Partnership. (2017). Mapping the social determinants of substance use for pregnant-involved young Aboriginal women. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 2(1),1275155.
  • Shahram, S.Z., Bottorff, J.L., Kurtz, D.L.M., Oelke, N., Thomas, V., & Spittal, P. (2017). Understanding the life histories of pregnant-involved young Aboriginal women with substance use experiences in three Canadian Cities. Qualitative Health Research, 27(2), 249-259. doi: 10.1177/1049732316657812.
  • Whitely A., Kurtz, D.L.M, & Cash, P. (2016). Stigma and developmental disabilities in nursing practice and education. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 37, 26-33.

Selected Grants & Awards

  • Kurtz, DLM, Barry, J., Hutchinson, P., Legault, G., (PIs), Barnes, Gillespie, Darnay, Ignace, Josewski, King, A., King, M., Moar, Olsen (CoIs). Urban Indigenous Identity, Gender and Wellness: Sharing Wisdom across Generations. CIHR (2021-2024)
  • Kurtz, DLM, Barry, J., Legault, G., Josewski, V. (PIs), Hutchinson, Ignace, Jones, Jung, King, A., King, M., Little, Olsen. Coming Together, Sharing Traditions & Taking Action for Urban Indigenous Diabetes Prevention and Management. CIHR (2021-2022)
  • Kurtz, DLM, Legault, G. (PIs), Barbic, S., Greenwwod, M., de Leeuw, S., Hutchinson, P., Te Hiwi, B., Wilson, S. Urban Indigenous Wellbeing, UBC Eminence (2021-2024)
  • Sanita, S, Kurtz, DLM. (PIs), Camogursky, Gotay, Greenland-Morgan, Irlbacher-Fox, Kandola, Kerber, Kolahdooz…. Assessing attitudes, barriers opportunities in Artic Canada. Culturally-appropriate educational resources for HPVV:NWT; ABOARD HPVV. CIHR (2020-2026)
  • Sanita, S, Kurtz, DLM., & Kandola, K (PIs) & International team, Otway,M, BroughtonS, Carnogurskey, J Delancey D, Doucette,K, Greenland-Morgan,BJ, Irlbacher-Fox, S, Kerber, K. Kolahdooz, F, LAboucan, M, Milligan, C., Rittenbach, K., Vehaeghe, T. (CoIs ) Capturing the anticipated/unanticipated consequences of COVID-19 (C19) and C19 prevention, management, and treatment strategies among Indigenous peoples in Arctic communities. CIHR (2020- 2022)
  • Sanita, S, Kurtz, DLM. (PIs), & Gotay, Greenland-Morgan, Irlbacher-Fox, Kandola, Kerber, Kolahdooz…. CARE NT: Caring and Responding in the NWT. (CIHR (2020-2025)
  • Oekle, N. (PI), Banner, D., Fournier, B.Airth, L. Buse, C., Dalton, H., Kurtz, D., Szostak, C., Woollard, R. Perkins, D.(CoI). Building Resilient Rural Communities: Understanding the Mental Health Impacts of Climate Change Events IURC/Tri-University Partnership Research Fund (2020-2021)
  • Kurtz, DLM, Jones, C. (PIs).  Barry, Gillespie, Jones, King, A., King, M. McGavok, J (CoIs).Learning from Our Elders: Indigenous Perspectives of Gender in Harvesting and Gathering CIHR (2020-2023)
  • Jones, C., Kurtz, DLM (PIs), Reynolds, C., Aldred, T. (CoIs). Indigenous Methodologies: Building Capacity for Telediabetes/Obesity Care in Urban Indigenous Communities. AGEWELL NCE (2020- 2023)
  • Kurtz, DLM, Jones, C. (PIs), Barry, J., Hutchinson, P., Jones, C., Jung, M., King, A., King, M., Little, J., McGavok, J. (CoIs). Building Indigenous Pathways for Diabetes and Obesity Prevention and Management with Urban and Rural Communities in BCCIHR (2018-2023)
  • Jarus, T. (PI), Holmes, Caron, Walker, Andrew, Campbell, Albon, Brown, Donnelly, Quinn, Kurtz, Bunting, Tsukada, Mayer, Hamzavi, Matheson,  Joy, Lessard, Nevill, McLennan (CoIs). Engaging Indigenous communities in health professions educational programs at UBC, UBC Medicine Strategic Investment Fund TLEF (2020 – 2021)
  • Rush, Li (PIs), Currie, Dow-Fleisner, Hasen, Jones, Kurtz, Oelke, Pesut, Plamodon (Co Aps). Advancing Rural Health Through Digital Health Technology and Social EnterpriseUBC Eminence (2019-2022)
  • Bill, L, King, A, King, M, Letendre, A. (PIs), Ametepee, Barnabe Beaucage, Bourque Bearskin, Brascoupe  Crowshoe Demeria, Elias,Fayed, Johnson, Kurtz, Mccormick, Mcgavock,Nyberg, Oosman, Ramsden Sylliboy Venners Young (CoAp). Indigenous Wellness Environment NEIHR Network: A NEIHR Network with a focus on Indigenous wellnessCIHR (2018-2019)
  • Martin Ginnis. K; Jung, M. (PIs), Berg; S. Holtzman; R. Hickey; C. Jones; D. Kurtz, J. Little; L. Lutes, N. Oelke; K. Rush (CoAp). Community Health Cluster, UBC Eminence Fund (2017-2020)

Professional Services/Affiliations/Committees


  • British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals
  • Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of British Columbia
  • Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association
  • Canadian Nurses Association
  • British Columbia Rural and Remote Health Research Network
  • Women’s Health Research Network of British Columbia


  • Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention
  • CIHR Review Committee
  • BC Diabetes Research Network


A path to cultural safety. Building cultural safety into the health-care system. UBC Okanagan Stories, July, 2021.


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