Dr. Michelle Stewart is an Associate Professor in Gender, Religion and Critical Studies as well as affiliated faculty in the Department of Justice Studies at the University of Regina located on Treaty 4 Territory.
Michelle is the Project Lead for the Integrated Justice Program (IJP). The IJP specializes in writing Gladue Submissions which are for Indigenous individuals for consideration at sentencing. These reports are meant to address the over-representation of Indigenous peoples in on remand and in custody. The IJP uses a team-based approach to these court reports and currently operates a one-of-a-kind team in Canada that allows multiple people to work on one report which allows for a high quality and increased capacity for report writing. Each report is Indigenous lead and trauma-informed. To date the team has generated more than 65+ submissions in the province far outpacing any other resource or agency in SK since 2020.
Michelle is an applied social scientist working on a number of interdisciplinary teams at the regional, national and international level including the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit. Michelle is involved in research and evaluation projects focused on cognitive disabilities, mental health and racialized inequalities as they present in the criminal justice and child welfare systems of settler states. More specifically Michelle looks at the over-representation of Indigenous peoples in these systems and the ongoing role of colonization that produce these racialized effects in Canada. Working with individuals, families, community members and frontline workers, Michelle uses participatory and community-based research models to co-design projects and mobilize research findings. The overall goal of which is to change programs and practices so as to bring about better justice outcomes for individuals while also working on the systemic root causes of these forms of marginalization and oppression. From delivery of frontline training to scholarly and artistic outputs, Michelle works at multiple levels and with a wide variety of stakeholders to try and address inequalities. Michelle currently holds Tri-Council funding for research, evaluation and arts-based projects across Canada. They have also lead a multi-year project sponsored by Public Safety Canada that focused on Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action #34 (which developed into the IJP).
In addition to projects that seek to directly intervene on the justice and child welfare systems, Michelle is also involved in a number of strengths-based initiatives across Canada. These projects place an emphasis on making resources available to communities and include supported employment opportunities through projects that are focused on lived experience, community making and arts-based practices. For more information about some of these projects please visit: http://improvenabled.ca.