Skip to main content
veris logo

Urban Indigenous Peoples’ Wellbeing


Title: Exploring The Impacts of Urban Mixed Nation Gathering Places on Urban Indigenous Peoples’ Wellbeing

Lead by: Jazlyn O’Bonsawin, MA student Community Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University

Supervisor: Dr. Manuel Riemer, Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Director at VERiS

Dissertation Advisory Committee: Dr. Ann Marie Beals, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Dr. Darren Thomas, Wilfrid Laurier University

Approved by: Wilfrid Laurier University Research Ethics Review Board, REB #8642

Rationale and Objectives

Many Indigenous People have experienced cultural disconnection as a result of colonial and assimilatory policies enacted by the government of Canada. Cultural disconnection has caused a lot of harm and is responsible for many of the poor outcomes we often see in Indigenous communities. Many Indigenous People are making efforts to reconnect with their cultures; however, this can take on many different forms.
This research seeks to explore reconnection in the context of urban mixed nation gathering places, specifically the Wilfrid Laurier Universities Indigenous Student Centre and Crow Shield Lodge, a land-based healing organization in Kitchener. In both settings, Indigenous People from various nations and cultures come together in efforts to reconnect with their cultures. In addition to exploring peoples' experiences in these settings, this research will also explore how these mixed nation gathering places impact the wellbeing of those who access them.

What’s Happening

7 conversational interviews took place between February and March. Currently, the results are being analyzed using Kovach’s thematic analysis strategy for Indigenous methodologies. Once results are analyzed, they will be provided to both the Laurier Indigenous Student Center and Crow Shield Lodge with the hopes of providing knowledge about the benefits of their services as well as providing some areas and suggestions for potential improvements.

Contact Us:

T: 519.884.0710 x2982
Office Location: 232 King st West, Waterloo, ON N2G 4V6

Office Hours:

We are currently working remotely.