Two-eyed seeing: a framework for understanding indigenous and non-indigenous approaches to indigenous health research

Can J Nurs Res. 2012 Jun;44(2):20-42.


This article presents two-eyed seeing as a theoretical framework that embraces the contributions of both Indigenous and Western "ways of knowing" (world-views). It presents key characteristics and principles of these different perspectives and suggests ways in which they might be used together to answer our most pressing questions about the health of Indigenous people and communities. Presenting a critique of positivism, which has historically undermined and/or dismissed Indigenous ways of knowing as "unscientific," it discusses the origins of both Western and Indigenous approaches to understanding health; the importance of giving equal consideration to diverse Indigenous and non-Indigenous worldviews such that one worldview does not dominate or undermine the contributions of others; and how balanced consideration of contributions from diverse worldviews, embraced within a two-eyed seeing framework, can reshape the nature of the questions we ask in the realm of Indigenous health research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Health Services, Indigenous*
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / psychology*
  • Models, Nursing*
  • Nursing Methodology Research / methods*
  • Transcultural Nursing / methods*