Indigenous and Black women in Canada have been critical to their communities as traditional healers, health care providers, activists, and spiritual guides. Yet, the voices and health concerns of Indigenous and Black women, apart from a few notable exceptions, are virtually absent from Canadian and feminist histories of health, and seldom prioritized in policy debates. This erasure, which is consequential of oppressive structures and supports the continuance of white supremacy, colonialism, and heteropatriarchy, has had devastating consequences for Indigenous and Black peoples in Canada who are grappling with poor health outcomes.
In this conversation, chaired by Dr. Kristin Burnett (Lakehead University, Department of Indigenous Learning), we centre gendered and racialized notions and histories of healing, and discuss ways in which universities can be sites of change through the privileging of Indigenous and Black theories, histories, and methods. Consideration is also given to the structural changes needed to create space for the embodiment of Indigenous and Black women’s notions of caring as a particular mode of scholarship.
Dr. Karen Flynn is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Gender and Women’s
Studies and the African American Studies Program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include migration and travel, Black Canada, health, popular culture, feminist, Diasporic and post-colonial studies. Her book won the Lavinia L. Dock Award from the American Association of the History of Nursing.
Dr. Lana Ray is an Anishinaabe scholar from Opwaaganasiniing. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Indigenous Learning at Lakehead University. She is committed to the use of Anishinaabe pedagogical practice and her work seeks to advance Indigenous social, cultural and political realities through resurgent and decolonial praxis.
Dr. Notisha Massaquoi is one of Canada’s leading experts in developing equity responsive organizations and served for 2 decades as the Executive Director of Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre in Toronto. Her research focuses on health equity and anti-Black racism. She is currently a Provost Research Fellow at the University of Toronto Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.
Support for this event is provided by: Gender & History; Vancouver Island University; the Canada Research Chairs Program; the Department of Indigenous Learning, Lakehead University; and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
For further information or to register, please contact Dr. Whitney Wood at