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Career Profile

Nicole Redvers (she/her)

Associate Professor and Director of Planetary Health
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University
Nicole Redvers headshot
Nicole Redvers headshot
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

I carry out Indigenous health research and support Indigenous communities and organizations in their health research needs.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Fort Resolution/Hay River, NWT

I now live in: London, ON

I completed my training/education at: BSc Exercise Science, from the University of Lethbridge, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, and a Masters of Public Health from Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA.

What I do at work

My workday can vary day to day due to the variety of projects I get to work on. I will usually teach graduate students at the University a couple of times a week. I usually give at least one presentation a week too. This can be to a local, national, or international audience around Indigenous health, planetary health, or climate change and health.

I am always involved and/or running several research projects or research collaborations. This requires me to have many meetings with people locally, nationally, and internationally. I also spend quite a bit of time writing up my research. This is how I get my collaborative work out to the world through various kinds of publications. I also serve on a number of committees and climate and health orientated organizations. These organizations help raise and amplify Indigenous voices within these spaces.

My work requires me to use many tools and sometimes specialized software to carry out my research analyses. My STEM background helps me to be able to think more broadly about health challenges that communities may be facing. I am able to take a Western science perspective as well as an Indigenous science perspective. I also like to mix my STEM skills with tools in the social sciences. This helps support the creation of new ways to think about tough problems that exist in the world. My work is community-based. As a result, I almost never work alone and always have co-leaders that support the various efforts I work on.

My career path is

I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be doing what I am doing today. I grew up in a very small community in the Northwest Territories where there were not a lot of STEM opportunities. I didn’t have any role models in any academic disciple or health field that was Indigenous or non-Indigenous. I knew somewhere inside that I had a passion for something. It just took me a bit to figure out what that was, and that was ok.

I actually started my career as a clinician running an integrative medicine practice in Yellowknife, NWT, for ten years. I became increasingly frustrated by the fact that many health issues facing Indigenous Peoples were structural and system issues. Such issues could not be addressed in the clinical exam room. I decided that I needed to work more upstream to tackle these structural and system issues. My goal was to support greater change and a greater chance for wellness within my home region. This is when I decided to move into academia and into health research and service.

I am motivated by

My favorite thing about my job is the flexibility it gives me to be able to respond to community needs. I can co-create my research agenda with the community. This makes it more meaningful work. I also love being able to work with so many amazing people at local, national, and international levels. I learn so much each and every day.

How I affect peoples’ lives

Our world is facing many challenges including the climate crisis. Indigenous Peoples are on the front lines of climate change, but we are also stewards of knowledge that is incredibly important for a healthy planet. I am humbled to be able to work within a space that is so relevant to the current times. The fact that I get to go to work every day to try and support Indigenous Peoples and the planet gives me great satisfaction. It is not just about having a job. It is about having a purpose.

Outside of work I

I volunteer at a charity organization I helped co-found with two Indigenous Elders called the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation. I really enjoy supporting and serving my community in this way despite not living close to home anymore. I also love to read non-fiction books and learn about different people, places, and cultures around the world. A quiet walk in Nature or sitting by water are my favorite places to unwind.

My advice to others

This career is hard work; however, it is also very rewarding. Sometimes it is hard to understand the point of what you learn in some classes and courses. I now realize how important many of the things I learned were in helping me think about how to address some of the most pressing crises we have in the world. To be able to do this means having a wide exposure to many subjects. This gives you a wider and broader understanding of how to approach problems and challenges. It also helps with thinking through the development of solutions.

I am Indigenous

I am a member of the Deninu Kųę́ First Nation in Treaty 8 Territory.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Science
  • Indigenous Studies
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Liked helping people
  • Played on a sports team
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Liked reading
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • Engaged in activities such as berry picking and fishing

Related Topics


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