Book Contributors


Dr. Bonnie Jeffery is a Professor in the Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina and a Researcher with the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU). She teaches in the areas of social work research, social work in rural and remote communities, community development, and social policy and practice with older adults. Her research program is focused on community-engaged work with rural communities to enhance social inclusion and support successful aging for older adults.

Dr. Nuelle Novik is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Regina and is a Researcher with the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU). Her research program is focused on older adults and aging, dementia, rural and remote practice, health and mental health, community engagement and community-based research. She teaches courses focused on mental health; management and organizational theory; end-of-life care and grief; counselling theories, approaches and practice; practice and policy relevant to older adults and aging; as well as social work in rural and remote communities.


Dr Amber Miners, MD, FRCPC is a general Pediatrician who has lived and worked in Iqaluit, Nunavut since 2010.  She is a graduate of Queens University (MD) and Ottawa University (Pediatrics), and has gone on to complete extra training in child abuse/maltreatment, which is her passion.   She currently holds academic appointments with the University of Ottawa and Memorial University.  She is proud to have worked with a dynamic team at the Arctic Child and Youth Foundation to open the Umingmak Child Advocacy Centre (CAC) in 2019, where she is currently the Physician Lead. This is the first CAC in the territories.  She also sits on the Trauma Aware National Advisory Committee, and the National Canadian Pediatric Society Board. She has previously been on the Royal College Regional Advisory Committee.  She is the proud mother of four children.

Brent McKee is a Senior Mental Health social worker with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, with the majority of his career has been in the east central part of Saskatchewan. Working in a rural setting has led to variety of social work opportunities in the Mental Health arena. Currently, Brent’s focus is working with resilient families who have children under the age of 3 years with the KidsFirst Program. Maternal mental health is his current practice, focusing on the themes of  empowerment, trauma informed and collaborative care.

Dr. Carrie LaVallie is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse and faculty in Indigenous Health at the First Nations University of Canada. They are a settler on Turtle Island with Scandinavian and German ancestors. Their research program explores spirituality’s role in healing from addiction, Somatic Experiencing and mental health concerns, and decolonizing research and treatment approaches. Decolonizing practices involves harmonizing multiple ways of knowing and co-creating new knowledge.

Dr. Cathy Rocke is the Dean of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Regina. Prior to her academic career, Cathy worked for over 25 years in both the education and social work fields, with her practice work experience included developing postsecondary educational programs for Indigenous communities, diversity training for child welfare professionals, quality assurance for child welfare agencies, counseling women who were victims of domestic violence, and child protection. In her almost 20 years of experience in the child welfare field in Manitoba, she worked in urban, rural and Indigenous child welfare agencies at both the front line and policy levels.

Dr. Colleen McMillan is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, Renison University College, University of Waterloo. She is also a Scientific Co-Director of the KDE Hub which is a research hub focused on mental health promotion across Canada. She teaches in social work, medicine and pharmacy and continues to practice clinically.  Research interests include qualitative health methodologies, gender and health, mental health and pedological innovation.

Curtis Hart is a registered social worker (B.C.) who was born and raised on Treaty 4 Territory, homelands of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda, and the homeland of the Métis/Michif Nation. Presently, he is an operations Manager with Mental Health and Substance Use, Island Health located in Victoria, BC, the unceded land of the lək̓ʷəŋən speaking peoples, known as the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. He has held several positions including clinical research associate, therapist, sessional lecturer (social policy and counselling theories and skills), clinical caseworker, working in both inpatient and outreach settings. Present areas of focus include complex care housing and responses to the toxic drug supply which includes the implementation and evaluation of the housing overdose prevention and peer services (HOPPS) model.

Daniel Afram is a social work Clinician who is passionate about the areas of childhood trauma and concurrent disorders within systemically marginalized communities. His work is focused on equitable mental wellness policies for Inuit in addition to ongoing clinical practice with children and adolescents.

Denica Bleau is Red River Métis, from Treaty 4 Territory (Saskatchewan). Denica is a PhD student in the Community Engagement, Social Change and Equity (CESCE) – Interdisciplinary Program at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. Denica’s PhD focuses on Indigenous Land-Based Healing from the Effects of Criminalized and Institutionalized Trauma. Denica’s previous writings and research focus on community-based healing programs, decolonial practice, and the parallels of incarceration and genocide.

Denise Humphreys is a white Ukrainian settler scholar living in Treaty 6 territory. She brings an interdisciplinary perspective from her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Public Administration to her current graduate studies at the University of Manitoba and research work at Brandon University. Her work focuses on critical genocide and anti-racist education, with a particular emphasis on connecting anti-colonial knowledge to community practice.

Dillon Lewchuk is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (B.C.), Canadian Certified Counsellor and Registered Canadian Art Therapist. He was born and raised on Treaty Four Territory, homelands of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda, and the homeland of the Métis/Michif Nation. Dillon has worked for various agencies across Canada supporting marginalized folks experiencing distress, violence and mental health disorders. He currently works at a private, inpatient facility that focuses on post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction treatment. As well, he is an instructor for the Winnipeg Holistic Expressive Arts Therapy (WHEAT) Institute teaching in the areas of gender and sexuality, child and adolescent development, addiction, PTSD and crisis support. Dillon currently resides on the unceded land of the lək̓ʷəŋən speaking peoples, known as the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples.

My name is Hilton King I am a bi-cultural Indigenous social worker with a practice blend that is informed by euro-western and Aboriginal knowledge. I originally come from Wasauksing First Nation on the Georgian Bay. I hold a Masters Degree in Social Work and currently am employed with Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiyag Child & Family Services as the Knowledge Keeper/Elder.

I carry the teachings of the land and I am a fire keeper who works with the sweat lodge and many other ceremonies. As I journey through this life, the cultural knowledge that was so freely passed on to me helps me stay balanced in life and as a helper, I offer the same support teachings to those who ask.

I have worked in Traditional Healing as a helper, Restorative Justice Coordinator, Mental Health worker and as a family support worker in Child Welfare, plus I am a skilled craftsman. Some of the traditional items I make are shakers, hand drums and tignaakins (baby carriers) and I also offer these types of workshops.


Dr. Joanna Pierce is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Work, at the University of Northern British Columbia. She teaches in the areas of clinical social work, social work with northern remote communities, community development, and place-based practices. Her research is focused on place-based social work with northern remote communities and clinical practice in the north.

Dr. Judy White is a registered social worker and Professor Emerita in the Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina. Her research and community work has focused on two areas: (1) the mental health and well-being of racialized diasporic peoples and newcomers (those who came in Canada as immigrants and refugees), and (2) food security and well-being of Indigenous and other peoples in Canada’s north. Judy migrated to Canada from Trinidad and Tobago in the late 1980s.

Karmen Pearce, MSW is a registered social worker in Yorkton SK. She provides counselling services at the Rapid Access Counselling Program at the Society for the Involvement of Good Neighbours (SIGN) and was a part of the research and development of walk-in counselling services in Yorkton and Kamsack.

Kristie Panchuk is a Clinical social worker (S.K.) with Ehrlo Counseling Services in Regina. She is also a sessional lecturer with the Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina. She was born and raised on Treaty 4 Territory, homelands of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda, and the homeland of the Métis/Michif Nation. As a therapist, Kristie takes a trauma informed and anti-oppressive approach to services and utilizes several evidence-based, theoretical frameworks that best suit the holistic needs of her clients. Kristie also worked in rural victim services and domestic violence victim services for several years prior to her work as a therapist. As such, she takes a special interest in intimate partner violence, safety planning with survivors and healing from interpersonal and intergeneration trauma.

Dr. Laurie Schmidt is a Population Health Promotion Practitioner with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and a Sessional Instructor at Athabasca University, Faculty of Health Disciplines. She teaches graduate courses in evidence-based practice in health care and leadership roles in health. Her research focusses on social interaction and physical activity among older adults in rural communities.

Melanie Abbott has a Bachelor’s of Social Work degree from the University of Calgary and a Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of British Columbia (Okanagan). She is currently a Mental Health and Addictions consultant in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Throughout her career she has worked primarily in rural and/or remote communities, mostly in British Columbia, in the areas of child protection, at-risk youth, permanency planning, transgender care, and, for the past 9 years, specifically in mental health and addictions. Beginning during the Covid-19 pandemic she also started offering virtual therapy, thereby opening up the resources available to individuals unable to attend counselling otherwise.

Dr. Michelle Lam is the Director of Brandon University’s Centre for Aboriginal and Rural Education Studies (BU CARES). She lives and works on Treaty 2 Territory, and is interested in innovative research methodologies, rural equity, and anti-racism. Her research program is focused on community-engaged work with rural educators, school divisions, and not-for-profit organizations to further equity for rural and Indigenous students.

Natalie Compagna is a primary care social worker with Foundry Virtual BC which offers provincially available virtual services to youth aged 12-24 and their caregivers in British Columbia. She has a private practice and works as a TA for the University of Waterloo’s School of Social Work program. Natalie has 8 years of experience living and working in rural/northern Indigenous communities. During this time she has had the privilege of working with six different Nations across British Columbia and the Yukon.

Tavia McKinnon grew up on Treaty 1 Territory in Winnipeg, Manitoba and received her Bachelor of Social Work at Université de Saint-Boniface. She is currently a Master of Social Work student at University of Northern British Columbia on the unceded traditional territory of Lheidli T’enneh First Nation. Her MSW thesis research explores youth relationships with land and place in the Nechako watershed in north-central B.C.

Dr. Vivian R Ramsden, a Registered Nurse, is a Professor & Director of the Research Division in the Department of Academic Family Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. She teaches in the areas of clinical research methods and family medicine/primary care research. As a participatory researcher, she is a passionate advocate for authentic engagement, co-creation and transformative action research which involves strategies to engage individuals and communities in identifying and addressing locally relevant issues that impact health and wellness. She is an Honorary Member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and a Fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Dr. Wanda Seidlikoski Yurach is a registered social worker and has been employed as a mental health therapist in northern remote Saskatchewan communities for over 16 years. She has also taught for the University of Regina as a Sessional Lecturer since 2003. Her areas of interest include northern remote mental health supports, social worker well-being, community-based participatory research and working with communities to develop land-based mental health/well-being supports for youth and adults.


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Rural and Northern Social Work Practice: Canadian Perspectives Copyright © 2022 by Bonnie Jeffery and Nuelle Novik is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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