Episode 3 of the pihtikwê podcast: Dr. Carol Hopkins – Culturally Based Means We Start From Culture First

pihtikwê Episode 2: Dr. Melanie Nelson – Winning Trust of Children and Communities

July 5, 2024
Our guest on this episode of pihtikwê: Visits with First Nation Psychologists is Dr. Melanie Nelson. She is a proud Samahquam (St’at’imc) woman and an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, School and Applied Child Psychology program.

Dr. Nelson’s research focuses on the experiences of Indigenous caregivers within Western systems, including the assessment and diagnosis process. She also investigates how Indigenous youth identify and access support for mental health and wellness in their schools and their communities.

Dr. Alanaise Ferguson is a member of the Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation and a Registered Psychologist in the Province of BC. She holds an academic appointment at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Syilx Territory.

She has trained and clinically supervised hundreds of Counseling Psychology students over the past 9 years in her academic roles at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Holly Graham is a member of the Thunderchild First Nation in Saskatchewan. She holds an academic appointment at the University of Saskatchewan. She also has an Indigenous Research Chair in Nursing. She has worked as a Registered Nurse in northern communities and is a Registered Doctoral Psychologist.

The purpose of our podcast series is to mobilize and share Indigenous Knowledge related to trauma repair, recovery from addictions, community survivance, and care across Indigenous communities in Canada.
Our goal is to provide listeners with access to conversations about the lived experiences of First Nations psychologists and leaders in the mental wellness field. We will discuss how that relates to challenges and successes in navigating and working within systems of care, as well as strength-based and cultural approaches to healing for Indigenous people.

The podcast episodes will discuss topics related to:

  1. Strength-based approaches to care
  2. Challenges and successes in the field
  3. Personal perspectives and experiences; and
  4. Analysis of the systems of care


About the pihtikwê podcast:

This podcast series is developed by the Healing from Trauma and Reducing Addictions group, part of the Ontario Network Environments Indigenous Health Research (ON NEIHR) Program. Situated in 10 sites across Ontario, ON NEIHR is demonstrating how health systems should move away from Western biomedical treatment of Indigenous medical illness to holistic, culturally based interventions instead (which include sacred aspects of healing: physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental dimensions). This program is funded by the Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). This group is led by Dr. Holly Graham (University of Saskatchewan), Dr. Brenda Restoule (First Peoples Wellness Circle), and Dr. Alanaise Ferguson (University of British Columbia-Okanagan). This project aims to centre the voices of Indigenous experts and leaders working in the mental wellness field to promote collective learning and mobilize knowledge to support Indigenous well-being. The central theme in this work is healing from trauma and reducing addictions. Indigenous psychologists and leaders in the mental wellness field will share their stories, knowledge, and lived experiences.
Our theme music is Kâkike, written and performed by Fawn Wood, an award-winning Cree-Salish musician and songwriter. You can learn more about her music at fawnwood.ca