Research summary

Vanessa Van Bewer’s research program is focused on exploring the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives, methodologies and approaches in nursing education, practice and research and anti-racist education.

Past research activities have included identifying the promise and importance of integrating Indigenous perspectives in nursing, developing an Indigenous and arts-informed framework for anti-racist practice in nursing education, and illuminating Indigenous health care provider perspectives of nursing education and practice.

Dr. Van Bewer is committed to generatively and creatively addressing the Calls to Action identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and Indigenous issues more broadly.

Her current research interests include examining the personal, academic and community impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Indigenous students in the College of Nursing and Indigenous student mentorship and learning.



  • Anti-racism
  • Arts- based research and learning
  • Cultural safety
  • Indigenous pedagogies and knowledge
  • Nursing education
  • Participatory and collaborative approaches
  • Storytelling


Vanessa Van Bewer is an assistant professor in the College of Nursing.

She is a graduate of the University of Calgary’s bachelor of nursing program and subsequently worked in adolescent mental health (Calgary), public health (Calgary) and at Health Links/Info Santé (Winnipeg).

She began her academic career as an instructor at the Université de Saint-Boniface and the College of Nursing at UM.

Weaving her background as a Métis spoken word artist and storyteller into her career as a scholar, Vanessa is passionate about encouraging others to use art to think creatively about social justice in their own lives and in their own communities.



PhD, University of Manitoba
Masters of nursing, University of Manitoba
Bachelor of nursing, University of Calgary


Association of Registered Nurses Medal of Excellence (PhD)

Foundations for Registered Nurses of Manitoba Award (2020)

Canadian Nurses Foundation Award and Indspire (2018, 2019)

Rising Star Award, College of Nursing, University of Manitoba (2019)

Indigenous Doctoral Education Award (2017-2019)

Joan and Dean Sandham Award for Aboriginal Leadership (2016, 2018-2019)

Prairie Indigenous Knowledge Exchange Network (2018-2019)

University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (2009-2011; 2016-2018)

Manitoba Centre for Nursing and Health Research Poster Competition Gold Medal (2013)

Contact us

College of Nursing
Helen Glass Centre for Nursing
89 Curry Place
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry Campus) 
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada