Introducing Dr. Dawn Hoogeveen, CERi Researcher-in-Residence

March 08, 2022

By Steven Ta


We are pleased to introduce Dr. Dawn Hoogeveen, who is joining CERi from September 2021 to April 2022 as a Researcher-in-Residence.

Dawn Hoogeveen’s research and experience is in environmental justice, environmental health, and Indigenous studies. Hoogeveen studied at the University of British Columbia, where she obtained a Ph.D. in Human Geography. She is a University Research Associate in the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU and involved in the Environment Community Health Observatory Network, a national and international research program that focuses on how resource development impacts communities and health. She is also cross appointed with the First Nations Health Authority.

As a non-Indigenous researcher, I draw on cultural humility to inform my work with First Nations and understand how to do work in a good way, to help improve Indigenous assertions over sovereignty, and right now, particularly in terms of jurisdiction and health.

There’s a lot of important work going on right now that’s addressing anti-Indigenous racism in the healthcare system, and I think that’s really significant work, and it’s important for non-Indigenous people to know about the systemic inequities that have faced First Nations in what is known as British Columbia.

Hoogeveen joins CERi with a passion for collaborative research based in ethical engagement. Working with the First Nations Health Authority, Hoogeveen is currently researching asset-based indicators of health and wellness focused on land and ecological dimensions of health and wellness as opposed to more traditional western deficit-based approaches.

What I have learned through my collaboration with the First Nations Health Authority is the importance of looking at indicators of health that are strength-based. For example, things like Indigenous language revitalization and the number of children that are able to speak their language or ways to qualify and measure connections to culture and land on a nation, family, and individual level in order to support self-determined decision making, particular in light of resource regulations.

Another area of research for Hoogeveen is her work on climate change and health inequities, where she has been supported by CERi to work with the Climate Action Secretariat in British Columbia to examine the impacts of flooding and major climate events on communities.

During her time with CERi, Hoogeveen has experienced the impact of COVID-19 and has recently begun a COVID-19 research project. Specifically, Hoogeveen is embarking on collaborative work with Dr. Lyana Patrick, Assistant Professor at SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences who was also a researcher-in-residence with CERi, and Cliff Atleo, Assistant Professor at SFU’s School of Resource and Environmental Management, looking at the pandemic and its impact on Indigenous health sovereignty.  

During my residency, what I’ve been thinking about — that is talked about in a variety of different ways — is the impact of COVID-19 on community as well as community work, including community-based research. There has been some significant research and mainstream media coverage on the impact of COVID on individuals, or on the gendered and socioeconomic impacts of COVID, but I haven’t seen a lot of writing on COVID-19 and how the pandemic has shifted community-led research initiatives.

For Hoogeveen, COVID-19 has affected all sorts of communities as well as what “community” means, as a broader concept. Moving forward, Hoogeveen is keen to visit collaborators and research partners again in person, as restrictions begin to lift.


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