MEET THE TEAM
The Urban Indigenous Wellbeing Collective is an interdisciplinary research collective of Elders, community members, partner organizations, and Indigenous and settler researchers and trainees. Guided by principles of an Indigenous relational approach, this team is committed to respectfully working with, and responding to, Urban Indigenous Community identified research priorities. Team members have experience and expertise in community-led Indigenous research methodologies, Indigenous health, health promotion, identity and belonging, cultural safety, land-based healing, population health, geography, creative practices, occupational therapy, and mental wellness.
Gabrielle Legault (Lead)
Gabrielle Legault is Métis from Saskatchewan and an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies at UBC Okanagan. Her research focuses on Indigenous identities, belonging, and wholistic wellbeing with an interest in supporting urban Indigenous youth.
Shawn Wilson is an Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies at UBC Okanagan. Through working with Indigenous Peoples internationally, Shawn has applied Indigenist philosophy within the contexts of Indigenous education, health and counsellor education and his research focuses on the inter-relatedness of identity, health, healing, culture and wellbeing.
Alanaise Ferguson is an Indigenous scientist-practitioner and educator in Counselling Psychology. She aims to decolonize mental health practices by addressing serious manifestations of colonial violence such as gangs and gender based violence. As one of very few Indigenous Registered Psychologists in British Columbia, she maintain active service within several Indigenous communities.
Skye Barbic is an Assistant Professor in Occupational Therapy in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC Vancouver and Head Scientist for Foundry. Skye’s areas of expertise include youth mental health, substance use, and youth housing/community dwelling.
Sarah de Leeuw
Sarah de Leeuw is a Professor in the Northern Medical Program at the University of Northern British Columbia and Department of Geography and Community Health Science. Her areas of expertise include social-cultural geography, health-humanities, social determinants of health using anti-colonial methodologies.
Tania Willard is a mixed Secwépemc and settler artist whose research intersects with land-based art practices. Her practice activates connection to land, culture, and family, centring art as an Indigenous resurgent act though collaborative projects like language revitalization in Secwépemc communities.
Peter Hutchinson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public and Population Health at UBC Vancouver. Peter’s research focuses on Indigenous public and population health, cultural safety in health services, anti-indigenous racism in health services, chronic disease, and tobacco cessation.
Karlyn Olsen is a settler born on the unceded territory of the Syilx, Sinixt and Ktunaxa Peoples. Karlyn is honoured to work with and learn from communities. She is Research Manager at UBC Okanagan for Indigenous Health Promotion and Cultural Safety Projects.
Kelsey Darnay is Anishinaabe Kwe with band membership in Garden River First Nation. She is in the 4th year of her Ph.D. program in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies: Community Engagement, Social Change and Equity stream. Her research focuses on Indigenous Restorative Justice (IRJ) practices as an alternative to incarceration, specifically looking at nation-specific approaches to IRJ in urban Indigenous communities.
Mimi Mutahi is a Kenyan living and working on the traditional, unceded, ancestral territory of the Syilx Peoples. She is a Conference Coordinator for Indigenous Health and approaches her work in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from both her Economic and Equity and Inclusion lens.
Sydni Galuska is a member of the Haida Nation from Haida Gwaii. She is a 4th year undergraduate student at the Universiry of British Columbia Okanagan, completing a double major in Indigenous Studies and Microbiology. Her future goals are to return home to Haida Gwaii and use her education to enhance the communities wellbeing, working with the health center and Gwaii Hannas.
Keyara Brody is Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw from the Sea Wolf clan on her mother side and has French and Mohawk ancestry on her fathers. She has been on Syilx territory for 6 years now pursuing her education. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Rehabilitation Science. Her project looks at bringing Traditional practices and land-based wellness into urban spaces for Indigenous youth as a means of increasing cultural connectedness. She hopes to pursue a career in Indigenous health and wellness.
Denica Bleau is a Métis counsellor, advocate, artist, and PhD student, originally from Treaty 4. Denica has worked/volunteered within the communities of Treaty 4, Secwepemc and Syilx Territories, Pictish and Gaelic Celt (Celtic) Territories (Scotland), and Incan Territory (Peru), in the realms of counselling and social work within prison and following release. Denica's research is focused on Indigenous Land-based healing from the effects of criminalized and institutionalized trauma.
Dante Carter is a nêhiyaw-iskwêw (Cree woman) from Onion Lake Cree Nation. She is in her first year of her Masters program in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Indigenous Knowledges Theme. Her community-based research, focused on Nanâtawihowin (Healing & Finding Place), delves into economic development that enhances community supports for Indigenous women and two-spirited folx to fortify matriarchal systems that safeguard youths’ cultural identity. Her research will be conducted in partnership with her home community.
Geraldine Manossa is a member of the Bigstone Cree Nation in Treaty 8. She is a 1st year, PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies: Indigenous Knowledge stream. Her research focuses on how land-inclusive reconciliation efforts can be implemented with Indigenous communities. She has worked with both the First Nations Health Authority and En’owkin Centre in developing Indigenous transformative, community-based and Nation-led initiatives, services and programs.
Noah Chenoweth is Syilx from the Upper Nicola Indian Band part of the Okanagan Nation. Noah also has ancestry within other Interior Salish Nations including NłeɁkepmx and St’at’Inc. He also has mixed ancestry with Norwegian and German lineage. Noah is currently pursing a Ph.D. in the Indigenous Knowledge stream focusing on experiential education for Indigenous students within higher education. Specifically analyzing how land-based pedagogies and global exchanges can enhance educational experiences for Indigenous students. He hopes to join UBCO as faculty.