DOI: 10.1111/nup.12471 ISSN: 1466-7681

A visionary platform for decolonization: The Red Deal

Mohamad H. Al‐Chami, Wendy Gifford, Veldon Coburn
  • General Medicine
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Research and Theory


In this study, we discuss the colonial project as an eliminatory structure of indigenous ways of knowing and doing that is built into Canadian social and health institutions. We elaborate on the role nursing plays in maintaining systemic racism, marginalization and discrimination of Indigenous Peoples. Based on historical practices and present‐day circumstances, we argue that changing language in research and school curriculums turns decolonization into what Tuck and Yang call a ‘metaphor’. Rather, we propose decolonization as a political project where nurses acknowledge their involvement in colonial harms and disrupt the assumptions that continue to shape how nurses interact with Indigenous people, including knowledge systems that perpetuate colonial interests and privilege. Decolonization requires nurses to understand the colonial practices that led to dispossession of land, erasure of knowledge, culture and identity, while upholding indigenous ways of knowing and doing in health, healing and living. As a political manifesto that liberates indigenous life from oppressive structures of colonialism and capitalism, The Red Deal is presented as a visionary platform for decolonization. The aim of this study is to articulate three dimensions of caretaking within The Red Deal as a framework to decolonize nursing knowledge development and practice. Based on the philosophical dimension embedded in The Red Deal that revoke norms and knowledge assumptions of capitalism that destroy indigenous ways of knowing and doing, we underscore an approach toward decolonizing nursing. Our approach rejects the apolitical nature of nursing as well as the unilateral western scientific knowledge approach to knowledge development and recognition. A critical emancipatory approach that addresses the socio‐political and historical context of health care, recognizes dispossession of land and adopts a ‘multilogical’ vision of knowledge that gives space for representation and voice is needed for true decolonization of nursing.

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