The numerous health inequities between Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada have been well described. Poor health arises from a variety of factors including poverty, lack of education, culture loss, inadequate living conditions, exposure to trauma and violence, and lack of social support and resources. Many of these factors and conditions, particularly pronounced among Indigenous peoples, are closely associated with a long history of colonial and neocolonial processes and practices. Employing an intersectional lens, Dr. Smye will present on the findings from her program of research to elucidate the challenges and facilitators to Indigenous health equity and to current opportunities as a way forward.
Dr. Victoria Smye (Vicki) is a settler Canadian from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe people. She is faculty and the Director of the Arthur Labatt School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada (since January 2017).
Vicki began on an academic career path as faculty at the University of Victoria in 2001 after over 20 years in clinical practice and prior to her current position at Western was faculty and Director, Nursing Programs, at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) (2014-2016) and faculty at UBC (2005-2014).
Currently Vicki’s program of research is located at the intersections of violence, gender, poverty, mental health and substance use and Indigenous health. Over the past decade she has led several CIHR-funded studies conducted in collaboration researchers, community agencies and community members that cross these domains of practice. At this time she is completing a study entitled, Aboriginal Men’s Health Narratives: Reclaiming our Lives and also has been a co-investigator on several studies, including health equity research in primary health care. Vicki also is a mother of three and grandmother of six.