After completing an Honours BSc. at McMaster University, I pursued a masters of public health at the University of Victoria. The move towards public health was largely inspired by the persisting and severe inequities experienced by the original inhabitants of the place I am fortunate to call home. Therefore, it was logical to pursue a specialization in Indigenous People's health. Through this specialization, I became well-versed in Indigenous Research Methodologies and how to conduct research 'in a good way.' During a public health practicum, I had the opportunity to put this training to use and quickly realized the gap between how researchers are supposed to engage Indigenous Peoples and what is actually feasible within the systems that have continued to fail them.
This experience left me all-the-more appreciative of what founding Elder Betty McKenna and Dr. Bourassa have built at Morning Star Lodge. At the Lodge, self-determination is applied to the entire research process. The results are innovative, relevant, and sustainable. Ultimately, I contribute strong writing skills and an ability to critically assess my reactions to information that challenges my worldview. Further, previous experience has left me able to 'find the way' to align articulated community priorities with the often incongruent demands of funding agencies. Entering the realm of Indigenous health is an experience that should humble most, and this has certainly been the case for myself. There is far more Knowledges within Indigenous cultures than any single person could hope to attain. At this point, I am walking along the road towards cultural safety and am far too often reminded of how long the road is to ever forget how far I still must go. I am grateful to all who have helped me so far and all the future helpers that I will no doubt require.
Golden Key International Honours Society