About the Research

Welcome.

This site is here to provide information on ongoing research projects on Indigenous community health, reconciliation, and resurgence. My name is Sarah Nelson and I’m currently a postdoctoral fellow at Queen’s University in Kingston.

My research is collaborative and so the purpose of this site is to make ongoing information related to the research available to collaborators, participants, potential participants, and anyone else who is interested!

Current work

I am currently working in Algonquin territory, in the valley of the Kiji Sibi (the Ottawa River), in particular in Lanark County and areas where there has not to date been formal recognition of Algonquin communities by the federal government. I am interested in the process of memory – how community memories are sustained through generations of displacement, opposition, colonialism, and community resilience. I am interested in aging and the life course as it relates to intergenerational roles within communities, and the ways in which memory and aging interrelate in the context of oral histories held by communities, and sustained by land and place.

Previous studies

Two Sisters hike May 2012
Hiking up Two Sisters Mountain outside of Wells

Much of my previous work has taken place in Prince George, a community that means a great deal to me. Recently, I have had conversations with older people in Prince George about the age-friendliness of the city, and analyzed the age-friendly action plans currently in place in Prince George to determine whether these are inclusive of Indigenous and other perspectives. Although the age-friendly action plans make an effort to be inclusive of Indigenous older peoples’ needs, they need to go farther in accommodating multiple perspectives on aging and the city.

Previously, I have worked with Indigenous-led health organizations to understand links between mental health and colonialism, as well as barriers that Indigenous clients of health care organizations experience in an urban setting, and the roles of these organizations in opening health care spaces to Indigenous community members in the city.