A Japanese Canadian Nurse Reflects on Cultural Competency, Humility, and Safety in Caring for an Indigenous Patient


  • Nathan Luznar-Purdy
  • Arlene Kent-Wilkinson


The effects of colonization in Canada continue to cause mistrust of the healthcare system among some Indigenous people. A Canadian registered nurse of Japanese and European descent reflects upon his final clinical placement as a student nurse, where he cared for an older Indigenous woman in North Central Saskatchewan. The concepts of cultural competence, humility and safety were applied by reflecting upon the history of Indigenous people in Canada, as well as through the nurse’s life experiences with Indigenous people. The nurse’s own family history of Japanese Canadian internment during the Second World War was contemplated, and the discrimination facing his family after WW2.  Lessons learned from reflecting on cultural competence, cultural humility, and cultural safety in clinical experiences will have implications for the health care system, the profession of nursing, patient outcomes, and my future nursing practice. Necessary changes still needed in the healthcare system in light of recent racial encounters are discussed.