Research Associate, MSc Health Promotion
I was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. Since I was 17 years old, I got involved with Mexican grassroots environmental and activist groups. As a young person that grew up in a big city, I was shocked to see the level of environmental devastation and systemic oppression in my country. But I was also inspired to witness the creativity, love and dignity of various grassroots organizations in making Mexico a better place to live. When I moved to Canada in 2016, I had the opportunity to be shaken again. This time by learning from Indigenous nations, activist and organizations that organized and acted on their own onto-epistemological terms. These experiences shaped the way I see life and my research interests. I draw from qualitative, participatory and Indigenous methodologies to explore and support community-driven initiatives that seek to foster healthier and more just communities.
The academic publications that I have co-authored address community advocacy efforts by people living with chronic kidney disease and their allies to demand a health care system that does not let them die; digital storytelling videos that Indigenous youth use to create awareness about the value of an urban Indigenous organization for urban health; the developmental evaluation of an Indigenous-led intersectoral collaboration on Indigenous homelessness reduction; and the contrast between the ethos of mainstream Western health promotion and the practice of an urban Indigenous organization.
After finishing my Master’s degree at CEHE, I work for this research laboratory as a Research Associate. I am currently working in collaboration with M’Wikwedong Indigenous Friendship Centre on an action-research project that aims to strengthen the leadership role of this Indigenous organization in climate action and land stewardship. Our research will make space for Indigenous community members to participate in informal conversations about M’Wikwedong’s climate action projects and their desired role within them. For facilitating M’Wikwedong’s capacity to act on community members’ priorities, our research project will seek to leverage intersectoral support of relevant organizations. Finally, the knowledge translation phase will bring attention to the knowledge and experience of Indigenous communities on climate action and land stewardship. This project is part of a broader research program called A SHARED Future.
For a copy of my thesis: https://qspace.library.queensu.ca/handle/1974/24846