Associate Professor

RHS 120
phone: 2508079627


Dr. Kurtz is Métis. She is a nurse educator and qualitative researcher. She uses decolonizing approaches of Indigenous led community based Indigenous methodologies in health promotion, Indigenous wellness and health system policy change for chronic disease prevention that benefits Indigenous peoples and communities. She has led multi-sector university-Aboriginal community education and research teams in the development of university level health science cultural safety curriculum development and delivery; urban Aboriginal health care access and delivery, Aboriginal nursing student recruitment and retention, to foster respectful non-racist, non-discriminatory health care provision and policy change. She currently holds a CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Health grant for urban integration of traditional healing for Primary Health Care in diabetes/obesity services. Her work is mainly focused in Western Canada and expanding research and education collaboration with Australia (Federation University Mt. Helen) and New Zealand (Whakauae Research Services). She is actively involved with the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada Research Sub-committee and is the International co-chair of the International Network of Indigenous Health Promotion Professionals.



PhD, Deakin University
MN, Deakin University
BSN (Hons.), University of Victoria
Nursing Management and Leadership Certificate (Masters Level), McMaster University





Registered Nurses Association of BC (Kelowna Chapter) Professional Distrinction Award (2005)
Canadian Diabetes Association Length of Service Award (2003)
Marion Merrel Dow Diabetes Education Chapter of the Year Award (1995)

Research Intern – Summer Research Internship Program in Multiple Interventions for Community Health Nursing (2005). School of Nursing Faculty of Health Sciences Centre for Multiple Interventions, Institute of Population Health University of Ottawa.

  • Indigenous health
  • Health disparities
  • Chronic Disease
  • Primary health care
  • Mental health
  • Women’s health
  • Qualitative research
  • Diabetes

Research Lab: Indigenous Health Promotion and Cultural Safety Lab

Indigenous methodologies
Critical methodology
Indigenous health
Cultural safety
Indigenous human health resources


Friendship Centres
Whakauae Research Services Ltd, Whanganui New Zealand
Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada
Interior Health



  • Embracing A Vision for Indigenous Health: Community Access to Prevention, Self-management and Integrated Diabetes
    PI: D. Kurtz
    Co-I:L. Bryant MacLean, O. Guerra, P. Hutchinson, C. Jones, M. Jung, J. Nyberg, D. Wilson
    Dates: 2015-2016
    Funded by: CIHR – Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples Operating Grant, $99,990
  • Alleviating Loneliness and Improving Physical Activity in Seniors with Hearing Loss
    PI: C. Jones
    Co-I: M.A. Murphy, D. Kurtz, G. Jones, P. Mix
    Dates: 2015-2016
    Funded by: Peter Wall Institute, $50,000
  • Walk ‘n Talk for Your Life: Improving Physical Activity and Overcoming Loneliness/Social Isolation in Seniors
    PI: C. Jones
    Co-I: G. Jones, D. Kurtz, H. Miller, J. Little, M.A. Murphy
    Dates: 2014-2015
    Funded by: UBC Okanagan, $150,000
  • VOICE 2012
    PI: C. Budgen
    Co-I: D. Callaghan, D. Kurtz, M. Federsen, L. Hatt, R. Wiebe
    Dates: 2012-2014
    Funded by: UBCO Health and Wellness/Interior Health, $125,000
  • Connecting Nursing Students: A Journey for Success
    PI: D. Kurtz, J. Vinek
    Dates: 2011-2012
    Funded by: UBC Okanagan Aboriginal Initiatives Fund, $7,338
  • Embracing Cultural Safety Education with the University of British Columbia Okanagan Valley
    PI: D. Kurtz
    Co-I: J. Nyberg, D. Sookraj, Jones, J. Vinek
    Dates: 2011-2012
    Funded by: UBC Okanagan Teaching and Innovation Learning Grant, $10,000
  • Health Promoting Effects of Hunting and Gathering in British Columbia Metis Communities
    PI: P. Hutchinson, M. Evans
    Co-I: D. Kurtz, J. Bottorff, Corbett, D. Sookraj, Jones, Trumbley, Ducommon
    Dates: 2011-2012
    Funded by: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, $79,000

Understanding and Supporting the Career Paths of Aboriginal BSN Graduates
PI: Mahara, D. Kurtz
Co-I: Duncan, Anderson
Dates: 2011-2012
Funded by: Thompson Rivers University, Interior Health Region, $32,085

Establishing Cultural Safety and Effecting Organizational Change for Aboriginal Healthcare in the Urban Centres of the Okanagan
PI: R. Hole, L. Berg, J. Bottorff, M. Evans
Co-I: S.Chau, P. Hutchinson, D. Kurtz, D. Wepa, L. Bryan-McLean
Funded by: Canadian Institutes of Health Research: Institute of Aborginal People’s Health, $404,571

  • Shahram, S.Z., Bottorff, J.L., Kurtz, D., Oelke, N., Thomas, V., Spittal, P., For the Cedar Project Partnership (Submitted, Nov 30 2015). Understanding the life histories of pregnant-involved young Aboriginal women with substance use experiences in three Canadian cities. Qualitative Health Research.
  • Whitely A., Kurtz, D.L.M, & Cash, P. (Accepted, September, 2015). Stigma and developmental disabilities in nursing practice and education. Issues in Mental Health
  • Kurtz, D., Janke, R., Vinek,J., Hutchinson, P., & Froste, A. (Accepted September, 2015). Cultural safety education and training of health science and social service students: A narrative review of the literature. Education for Health: Change in Learning and Practice
  • Guerra, O., & Kurtz, D. (Submitted July 2015). Building collaboration: A scoping review of cultural competency and safety education training for healthcare students and professionals. BCMJ
  • Hutchinson, P., Dingwall, C., Kurtz, D. L.M., Evans, M., Jones, G., & Corbett, J. (2014). Maintaining the integrity of Indigenous knowledge; Sharing Métis knowing through mixed methods . International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, 7(1), 1-14.
  • Kurtz, D.L. M., Turner, d., Nyberg, J., & Moar, D. (2014). Social justice and health equity: Urban Aboriginal women’s actions for health reform. International Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society, 3(4), 13-26.
  • Budgen, C., Callaghan, D., Hatt, L., Kurtz, D.L.D., Fedderson, M., Wiebe, R., More, C., Hamilton, C., & Geddes, C. (2014). Changing Health Determinants in a Campus Community: Students and Faculty as Co-Researchers.  International Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society, 3(4), 27-42.
  • Kurtz, D.L.M. (2013). Indigenous Methodologies: Traversing Indigenous and Western worldviews in research. Alternative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, (9)3, 217-229.
  • * Sookraj, D. Hutchinson, P., Evans, Murphy, M., & OUAHRC. (2010). Aboriginal organizational response to the need for culturally appropriate services in Canadian Cities. Journal of Social Work 12(2), 136-157. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1468017310381366
  • Van Den Tillaart, S., Kurtz, D., & Cash, P. (2009). Powerlessness, marginalized identity, and silencing of health concerns, voiced realities of women living with a mental health diagnosis. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 18(3), 53-63. DOI: 10.1111/j.1447-0349.2009.00599.x (2nd author, 40% contribution)
  • *Evans, M., Hole, R., Berg, L., Hutchinson, P., Sookraj, D., & OUAHRC. (2009). Common insights, differing methodologies: Towards a fusion of Indigenous Methodologies, Participatory Action Research, and White Studies in an Urban Aboriginal research agenda. Qualitative Inquiry, 15, 893-910. doi:10.1177/1077800409333392
  • Hill, D., & Kurtz, D.L.M. The effects of stigma on Aboriginal women living with HIV/AIDS. (2008). Canadian Journal of Aboriginal Community-Based HIV/AIDS Research, 1(1), 5-14. (2nd author, 40% contribution)
  • Riley, B., MacDonald. J., Mansi Omaima †, O., Kothari †, A., Kurtz, D. †, & von Tettenborn, L. † (2008). Is reporting on interventions a weak link in understanding how and why they work? A preliminary exploration using community heart health exemplars. Implementation Science, 3, 27. († equal contributors – 30% contribution)
  • Kurtz, D.L. M., Nyberg, J., Van Den Tillaart, S., Mills, B., & Okanagan Urban Aboriginal Health Research Collective. (2008). Silencing of voice: An act of structural violence. Urban Aboriginal women speak out about their experiences with health care. Journal of Aboriginal Health, (4)1, 53-63.
  • Berg, L., Evans, M., Fuller, D., & the OUAHRC. (2007). Ethics, hegemonic whiteness, and the contested imagination of ‘Aboriginal Community’ in social science research in Canada. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 6(3), 395-410. Retrieved from http:/

Visit Dr. Kurtz’s graduate students’ Theses & Dissertations for examples of graduate student research


Invited Presentations:

  • Kurtz, D.L.M., Nyberg, J., Mitchell, E., & Marchand, C. (2015, May 28). SWKNAQINX Aboriginal Health Curriculum and Cultural Safety. 2nd Okanagan Cultural Safety Symposium. University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC.
  • Kurtz, D.L.M., & Nyberg, J. (2015, April 23). Un-Silencing of our voices. University of British Columbia, School of Population and Public Health, Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) Talks: Aboriginal Culture and Language. University of British Columbia, Long House, Vancouver, BC.
  • Kurtz, D.L.M., Nyberg, J., Moar, D., & Eaglefeather, C. (2012, November 8). Urban Aboriginal women and non-discriminatory healthcare. University of British Columbia, Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic DiseasePrevention, Partnership in Research Series, Kelowna BC.
  • Kurtz, D. (2010, March 4). University of British Columbia Okanagan Aboriginal strategies and cultural safety. Cultural Competence and Cultural Safety in Nursing Education: A Framework for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Strategy Session. Thompson Rivers University School of Nursing. Kamloops, BC.
  • Kurtz, D., Nyberg, J., Van Den Tillaart, S., & Eaglefeather, C. (2009, May). Breaking the silencing in health and social service delivery. Urban Aboriginal women speak out. University of British Columbia Okanagan Faculty of Health & Social Development (FHSD), UBCO FHSD Aboriginal Health Workshop.
  • Refereed Presentations:
  • Kurtz, D., Nyberg, J., Twin, A., Eagle-feather, C., Moar, D., & Van Den Tillaart, S. (2010). Breaking the Silence in Health Care: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Women Heard Through Traditional Talking Circles. Healing Our Spirit Worldwide, The Sixth Gathering. Honolulu, Hawai‘i, USA. September 3-10.