Thompson Rivers University

Lisa (Mona) Bourque Bearskin

Name: Dr. Lisa (Mona) Bourque Bearskin
Position: Associate Professor
Phone: 250-828-5056


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Dr. Bourque Bearskin, (Mona Lisa) a tenured Associate Professor at Thompson Rivers University, is an inaugural CIHR Chairholder in Indigenous Health Research for Nursing in British Columbia. A Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Nursing (FCAN) and the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN). Her research contributes to supporting community knowledge as a generative process to advancing Indigenous health in Nursing. Globally, she is recognized for her relational, rights, and strength-based research approach. A leader in reconciling parallel pathways of traditional Indigenous health care in the context of community wellness. A former president of the Canadian Indigenous Nursing Association (CINA), she led organizational changes that focused on collaborative partnerships and mentorship of Indigenous nurses implementing cultural safety and security as key educational outcomes for improving nursing practice. She is a proud nehiyaw iskwew, a sur-thriver of the residential school and sixties scoop era, who maintains a solid connection to her community, cultural and ancestral roots.

Research Interests

2020-2021 Collaborator, Regional/Rural/Remote Communities (R3C) Collaborative Research. Building Resilient Rural Communities: Understanding the Mental Health Impacts of Climate Change Events. NPI, Nelly Oeike.Awarded $40,000

2019-2024 Chair, Indigenous Health Nursing. Advancing Indigenous Wellness by Reconciling Parallel Pathways in Indigenous Health Nursing: Innovating Wise Practices for Education, Standards, Partnerships, and Research. BC, $1,500,000/ 5 years.

2020-2025 Collaborator, New Researcher. BC Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research (NEIHR) Canadian Institute of Health Research-Institute of Indigenous Peoples Health. Awarded $3,500,000/5 yrs NPI Charlotte Loppie.

2019- 2024 Co-Investigator, Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) Team 18 Indigenous Phase II Walker, J (NPI), Crowshoe, L., O'Connell, M., Patterson, C., Chertkow, H., Boehme, G., McKenna, B., Hogan, D., St George Hyslop, P., Pitawanakwat, B., Bourque-Bearskin, L. Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Awarded $2,150,000

2019-2021 Co-Investigators, Morton Ninomiya, & Bourque Bearskin. Indigenous evidence in research: Contexts for and methods, benefits, and tensions of including traditional Indigenous knowledge in research, across disciplines. New Frontiers in Research Fund Exploration Awarded $199,981.00

2019-2023 Program Expert, Our Health Counts Applied Indigenous Epidemiology, Health Information, and Health Services. Canadian Institute of Health Research, Foundation Grant Dr. Janet Smylie PI Awarded $3,350,000.00

2018-2019 Principle Applicant Catalyst Grant. Developing a Research Agenda to Realize the Vision of an Effective, Culturally Relevant and Wellness-Focused Nursing Service Developed in the Nuu-chah-nulth Way. Canadian Institute of Health Research-Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health. 150,000.00.

2017-2018 Principle Applicant Catalyst Grant Indigenous Community Wellness knowledge in Action: Evaluation of Research Protocols, Processes, Principles in Practice. Canadian Institute of Health Research-Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health. 150,000.00.

2017-2020 ??? Co-Applicant & New Researcher on Project Grant, Indigenous Mentorship Network-Pacific Region. Canadian Institute of Health Research- Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health. Mentorship Grant, 1,000,000.00 PI Charlotte Loppie

2017-2020 Co-Applicant & New Researcher on Project Grant, Ombaashi: Indigenous Mentorship Network Program: National/International Coordinating Centre. Canadian Institute of Health Research- Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health. Mentorship Grant, 1,000,000.00 PI Rod McCormick

2017-2018 Co-Applicant, Catalyst Research Grant Ts?exm??n: Looking in-looking out. Canadian Institute of Health Research-Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health. 150,000.00 PI Roderick McCormack

2016-2017 Co-Lead Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Community Human Services. Michael Smith Foundation Health Research Convening & Collaborating. 15,000.00 Co Lead Carol McDonald

2016-2017 Co-Applicant Training Grant: Indigenous Mentorship Network Program. Canadian Institute of Health Research LOI, $25,000.00 PI Rod McCormick.

2016-2017 Co Applicant Copper, Water, and Fish: A Tk???Emlups te Secwepemc Community BasedHealth Education and Research. Canadian Institutes of Health Research/IAPH- Planning and Dissemination Grant CIHR, $12,000.00 PI Darlene Sanderson.

2012-2013 Co-Applicant Popular theatre as a strategy for knowledge mobilization for Indigenous Peoples' perspectives on access to health care services Canadian Institutes of Health Research/IAPH-Dissemination event $25,000. PI Dr. B. L Cameron
2012-2013 Co-Applicant Sustainable online support for Aboriginal children and adolescents CIHR, $99,604. PI Dr. M. Stewart.


2014 PhD in Nursing University of Alberta Edmonton Alberta
2007 Masters of Nursing University of Alberta Edmonton Alberta
1995 Bachelor of Science in Nursing University of Alberta Edmonton Alberta
1983 Licensed Practical Nurse Malaspina College Nanaimo B.C.


Brockie, T., Clark, T.C., Best, O., Power, T., Bourque Bearskin, L., Kurtz, D.L., Lowe, J. and Wilson, D. (2021), Indigenous social exclusion to inclusion: Case studies on Indigenous nursing leadership in four high-income countries. Journal of Clinical Nursing
Kennedy, A., Bourque Bearskin, R.L., &; Freija, K. (2021). Commitment to positive change: Structural anti-racism audit of nursing education programs. Witness: The Canadian Journal of Critical Nursing Discourse.
Kennedy, A., Bourque Bearskin, R.L., Bourque, D.H., Bourque, D.E., Cardinal, S. (2021). Reconciling taking the ???Indian??? out of the nurse. Quality Advancement in Nursing
Dion Stout, M., Wieman, N., Bourque-Bearskin, R.L., Palmer, B.C., Brown, L., Brown, M. Namaste M. (2021), Gum yan asing Kaangas giidaay han hll guudang gas ga. I will never again feel that I am less than: Indigenous health care providers??? perspectives on ending racism in health care [Commentary]. International Journal of Health 16,1,13-20.
McAtackney,D.Gaspard, G. Sullivan, D., Bourque Bearskin, R. L., Sebastian, M. (2021). Improving dementia care for Gitxsan Frist Nations People. International Journal of Indigenous Health. 16, 1, 118-145.
Funnell, S., Walker, J., Letendre, A., Bourque Bearskin, R.L., Manuel, D., Scott, M., & Sarah Spruin, S., Peter Tanuseputro, P. (2021). Places of death and places of care for Indigenous peoples in Ontario: A retrospective cohort study. The Canadian Journal of Public Health.
Bourque Bearskin, R. L., Kennedy, A., Kelly, L., C (2020). Indigenist nursing: Caring keeps us close to the source. In M., Hills, J., Watson, & C. Cara, Creating a Caring Science Curriculum: An Emancipatory Pedagogy for Nursing. Springer: New York
Power, T., Wilson, D., Best, O., Brockie, T., Bourque Bearskin, L., Millender, E., & Lowe, J. (2020). COVID-19 and Indigenous Peoples: An imperative for action. Journal of clinical nursing, 29(15-16), 2737???2741.
Bourque Bearskin, R.L., Kennedy, A., Joseph, C. (July 2020). N??paw??stimatowin - ???Bearing witness for one another??? Editorial. [Special Issue]. Witness: The Canadian Journal of Critical Nursing Discourse, 2,1, York University; Toronto Ontario
Jakubec, S., & Bourque Bearskin, (2020). Awareness, allyship, and action for decolonizing and anti-oppressive Nursing. In J. Ross-Kerr and M., Wood (Eds.). Canadian Nursing: Issues and Perspectives 6th Edition. Toronto, ON: Elsevier Mosby
Funnel, S., Tanuseputro, P., Letendre, A., Bourque Bearskin, R. L., & Walker, J., (2019). ???Nothing about us without us.??? How community-based participatory research methods were adapted in an Indigenous end-of-life study using previously collected data. Canadian Journal on Aging. 39,2, 145-155.
Garson, K. Dimitrov, N. & Bourque Bearskin, R.L. (2019). Editor???s Notes. [Special Issue]. New Directions in Teaching and Learning, 157, 7-12. Wiley Periodicals
Carmargo Plazas, P., Cameron, B., Milford, K., Ruth Hunt, L., Bourque Bearskin, R.L., & Santos Salas, A. (2018). Engaging Indigenous youth through popular theatre: Knowledge mobilization of Indigenous Peoples??? perspective on access to healthcare services. Action Research.
Bourque Bearskin.,R.L. Cameron, B.L., King, M., Weber-Pillwax, C., Dion Stout, M., Voyageur, E., Reid, A., Bill, L., & Martial, R. (2016) Mamawoh kamatowin coming together to help each Other in Wellness: Honouring Indigenous Nursing Knowledge. International Journal of Indigenous Health, 11, 1, p 5-19.
Cameron, B. Carmargo Plazas, P., Santos Salas, A., Bourque Bearskin, R.L., Hungler, K. (2014). Understanding inequalities in access to healthcare services for Aboriginal people: A call for nursing action. Advance Nursing Sciences. 37, 3 E1-E16. lens on culture in nursing practice. Nursing Ethics DOI. 10.1177/0969733011408048

Employment History

2016 Thompson River University Associate Professor
2015 University of Alberta. Faculty of Nursing Clinical Assistant Professor
2014 Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada Acting Executive Director
2013 University of Alberta, Faculty of Education Indigenous Peoples Policy Studies
Sessional Aboriginal Education and Context for Professional Engagement.
2005-2015 University of Alberta, Faculty of Nursing Sessional Lecturer BScN Program
2010-2013 University of Alberta, Faculty of Nursing Aboriginal Nursing Coordinator
2008-2010 Easter Metis Settlements in Alberta Aboriginal Nursing Consultant
2007-2010 University of Alberta, Faculty of Nursing Research Coordinator CIHR Grant: Reducing Health Disparities and Promoting Equitable Access to Health Care services for Aboriginal People.
2007-2008 University of Alberta, Faculty of Nursing Research Assistance Stewart and King CIHR Grant: Asthma and Allergies among Aboriginal Youth in Rural and Urban Communities
2006-2008 Capital Health Authority Aboriginal Diabetes Wellness Program
Clinical Nurse Consultant
2000-2004 Nunavut Arctic College, Iqaluit NunavutNursing Instructor, BScN
2002- 2004 University of Dalhousie, Halifax NSAdjunct Nursing Professor
1998-2000NorQuest College, Edmonton/Hobbema AB Nursing Instructor LPN
1995-1998First Nations Inuit Health Branch, Edmonton AB Community Health Nurse
1983- 1995B.C./Lac Lac Biche/Edmonton LPN Maternity/Acute Care

Courses Taught

Undergraduate Course
Nurs 4380 Community Health & Leadership
Nursing 4210 Final Nursing Practicum
Nursing 1700 Professional Practice Nursing Theory

Graduate Courses;
Nurs 6300 Indigenous Health Nursing Leadership

Professional Affiliations

2017-2020 Board of Director Skelep School of Excellence Tk'emlups te Secwepemc

2013-2017 President Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada
2016 Member of College Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia
1995 Member of Aboriginal Nurses Association Canada
2012-2014Member, Canadian Nurses Association, Aboriginal Advisory Group
2006-2009 Aboriginal Health Group- Executive Committee VP External
2007-2009 Member of the Honour Society of Nursing Mu Sigma Chapter Edmonton
2002-2004 Member of the Iqaluit chapter of RNANT/NU
2002-2004Member of the Canadian Registered Nurses Examination Committee
2002-2004Registered Nurses Association of Northwest Territories and Nunavut
1995College of Association of Registered Nurses Alberta


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