Lewis, Diana

Dr. Diana lewis
Assistant Professor/Canada Research Chair (Tier II) Indigenous Environmental Health Governance, Dirctor, IndigenERA Lab
PhD, Dalhousie University, 2018
519-824-4020 ext. 54338

Indigenous health, environment, risk assessment, environmental impact assessment, Indigenous methodology

I am a member of the Sipekne’katik Mi’kmaq First Nation in Nova Scotia. My research interests are to foster a wider understanding of Indigenous worldviews and how Indigenous worldviews must inform environmental decisions, specifically as Indigenous peoples are impacted by resource or industrial development. I am a strong advocate for Indigenous data sovereignty and Indigenous-led decision making, and I am currently working with Indigenous communities across Canada to develop an Indigenous-led environmental health risk assessment approach.

I am leading an international research team to develop an Indigenous value-based environmental health risk assessment approach (CIHR Project Grant) to address impacts of current/proposed industrial development affecting Indigenous communities, and am Director of the IndigenERA Lab (see: https://www.indigenera.ca/).

I am Co-Director of A SHARED Future http://asharedfuture.ca funded under a CIHR Team Grant (Environments and Health: Intersectoral Prevention Research). A SHARED FUTURE is a project that explores reconciliation between knowledge systems, while exploring intersectoral partnerships in renewable energy. Under this project, I Co-Lead a project with Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation) and the many renewable energy projects they are leading.

For more information, see:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RObUofPiN8&feature=youtu.be 

GEOG*1220DE Human Impact on the Environment
GEOG*3600 Geographies of a Region
GEOG*4230 Environmental Impact Assessment

Refereed Articles

Rotz, S., Rose, J., Masuda, J., Lewis, D., & Castleden, H. (2022). Toward Intersectional and Culturally Relevant Sex and Gender Analysis in Health Research. Social Science & Medicine, 292, 114459.

Sanchez-Pimienta, C., Masuda, J., Doucette, M.B., Lewis, D., Rotz, S., Native Women’s Association of Canada, Tait Neufeld, H., & Castleden, H. (2021). Implementing Indigenous gender-based analysis in research: Principles, practices, and lessons learned. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 18(21), 11572–. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111572

Walker, C., Doucette, M.B., Rotz, S., Lewis, D., Neufeld, H., Castleden, H. (2021).

            Non-indigenous partner perspectives on Indigenous peoples’ involvement in renewable energy: Exploring reconciliation as relationships of accountability or status quo innocence? Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management. https://doi.org/10.1108/QROM-04-2020-1916

Lewis, D., Francis, S., Strickland-Francis, K., Castleden, H. & Apostle, R. (2021). If only they had accessed the data: Governmental failure to monitor pulp mill impacts on human health in Pictou Landing First Nation. Social Science and Medicine, 288, 113184. https://DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113184

Lewis, D., Castleden, H., Apostle, R., Francis, S. & Strickland-Francis, K. (2020). Linking land displacement and environmental dispossession to Indigenous health and wellbeing: Culturally relevant place-based interpretative frameworks matter. The Canadian Geographer, 65(1), 66-81. DOI: 10.1111/cag.12656

Lewis, D., Castleden, H., Apostle, R., Pictou Landing Native Women’s Association. (2020). Government fiduciary failure in Indigenous environmental health justice: The case of Pictou Landing First Nation. International Journal of Indigenous Health, Vol. 15(1), 61-72. https://doi.org/10.32799/ijih.v15i1.34085

Lewis, D., Williams, L., & Jones, R. (2020). A radical revision of the public health response to environmental crisis in a warming world: Contributions of Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous feminist perspectives. Canadian Journal of Public Health. 111(6), 897-900. DOI: 10.17269/s41997-020-00388-1

Masuda, J., Lewis, D. Poland, B., & Sanchez-Pimienta, C. (2020). Stop ringing the alarm, it is time to get out of the building. Canadian Journal of Public Health Special Issue: Moving on IPCC 1.5°C: Exploring promising public health research, policy, and practice responses to environmental crisis in a warming world. Canadian Journal of Public Health. 111(6), 831-835. https://doi.org/10.17269/s41997-020-00437-9

Lewis, D., Castleden, H., Francis, S., Strickland, K., Denny, C. & Pictou Landing Native Women’s Group. (2016). Increasing response rates on face-to-face surveys with Indigenous communities in Canada: Lessons from Pictou Landing. Progress in Community Health Partnerships, Vol. 10(2), p. 197-205. DOI: 10.1353/cpr.2016.0021

Anand, S., Shrikant, B., Castleden, H., Davis, D., Desai, D., de Souza R., Kandasamy, S., Lewis, D., Sergeant, A. (2019). “All about us”: Indigenous data analysis workshop capacity building in the Canadian Alliance for Healthy Hearts and Minds First Nations Cohort: Canadian Alliance for Healthy Hearts and Minds First Nations Cohort Research Team. Canadian Journal of Cardiology (CJC), Open 1, 282-288. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cjco.2019.09.002

Walker, C., Alexander, A., Doucette, M.B., Lewis, D., Tait Neufeld, H., Martin, D., Masuda, J., Stefanelli, R., & Castleden, H. (2019). Are the pens working for justice? News media coverage of renewable energy involving Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Energy Research and Social Science, 57, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2019.101230

Stefanelli, R.D., Walker, C., Kornelson, D., Lewis, D., Martin, D.H., Masuda, J. Richmond, C., Root, E., Neufeld, T., & Castleden, H. (2018). Renewable energy and energy autonomy: How Indigenous Peoples in Canada are shaping an energy future. Environmental Reviews, 27(1), 95-105. DOI: 10.1139/er-2018-0024

Castleden, H., Bennett, E., Pictou Landing Native Women’s Group, Lewis, D., & Martin, D. (2017). " Put it near the Indians": Indigenous perspectives on pulp mill contaminants in their traditional territories (Pictou Landing First Nation, Canada). Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action11(1), 25-33. DOI: 10.1353/cpr.2017.0004

I am looking for undergraduate/graduate research assistants and post-doctoral fellows to join my team. We are launching a research program to develop an Indigenous value-based environmental health risk assessment approach and I am interested in students who want to or have worked with Indigenous communities. I am happy to chat with you about your research interests if you have strong skills in Indigenous methods, statistics, ArcGIS StoryMaps, or qualitative methods, and strong software skills. The communities I am working with right now are in southern Ontario and northern Alberta. Please feel free to contact me to discuss available projects and funding opportunities.

I am a member of the Indigenous Mentorship Network of Ontario (https://imnp.uwo.ca/) and the Wabanaki-Labrador Indigenous Health Research Network (http://wabanaki-labradornetwork.ca/).

Supervised at the Univeristy of Guelph

Committee Member (September 2023 - )
Kathryn Stone, Doctorate, In Progress
University of Victoria

Principal Supervisor (August 2023 - )
Elana Nightingale, Post-doctorate, In Progress

Co-Supervisor (January 2023 - )
Nicole Bates-Eamer, Post-doctorate, In Progress

Co-Supervisor (January 2022 - )
Deb Pine, Doctorate, In Progress
Thesis/Project Title: Anishinaabe concepts around Giigoohnkewin, Anishinaabe Knowledge, and what the connection to Anishinaabe forms of conservation exist.

Principal Supervisor (January 2022 - January 2022)
Lara Durksen, Bachelor’s Honours, Completed ( - April 2023)
Project Description
A scoping review of how Indigenous knowledge is incorporated into environmental impact assessment processes. Department of Geography, Environment & Geomatics, University of Guelph. 

Other Supervised Students

Principal Supervisor (September 2020 - April 2021)
Shannon James, Bachelor’s Honours, Completed (September 2017 - June 2021)
Western University
Present Position: Graduated
Thesis/Project Title: Examining Knowledge Gaps in the federal Environmental Assessment process that affect the meaningful consultation of Indigenous populations in Canada

Principal Supervisor (September 2020 - June 2023)
Serena Mendizabal, Master’s Thesis, Completed (September 2020 - June 2023)
Western University
Thesis/Project Title: Autonomy as a determinant of health.

Committee Member (January 2020 - January 2022)
Veronica Reitmeier, Master’s Thesis, Completed (September 2020 - October 2022)
Western University
Thesis/Project Title: Digital geographies of Indigenous health: Exploring Indigenous Mental Health content from Turtle Island during COVID-19.

Principal Supervisor (September 2019 - April 2020)
Alcandor Lui, Bachelor’s Honours, Completed (September 2016 - May 2020)
Western University
Present Position: Graduated
Thesis/Project Title: Assessing muskrat habitat in the Wood Buffalo National Park Action Plan using western and Indigenous Knowledge

Co-Supervisor (September 2019 - August 2023)
Emily Beacock, Doctorate, In Progress (September 2019 - )
Western University
Thesis/Project Title: Decolonial Indigenous-academic research governance: colonial structures, Indigenous law, and meaningful collaboration in Indigenous geographies.

Co-Supervisor (September 2017 - August 2019)
Cassidy Glennie, Master’s Thesis, Completed (September 2017 - May 2019)
Dalhousie University
Present Position: Graduated
Thesis/Project Title: Inuit Girls Make Media: Participatory Action Research in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

2022 – Doctoral Student: Carelle Mang-Benza. Internal Examiner. Land, wind, and power in M’Chigeeng First Nation: Perceptions of Indigenous-owned community energy in the Canadian context of low-carbon transition and reconciliation. Geography and Environment, Western University.

2022 – Doctoral Student: Dyanna Jolly. External Examiner. What does (or could) it mean to practice indigenous impact assessment in Aotearoa New Zealand? A critical analysis of cultural impact assessment effectiveness. University of Otago, New Zealand.

2021 – Doctoral Student: Daniel Amoak. Comprehensive Exam Committee: Seed diversity as a sustainable pathway for improving food security, climate change resilience and biodiversity conservation in Malawi. Geography and Environment, Western University.

2018 - Doctoral Student Elana Nightingale. Comprehensive Exam Committee.  Reclaiming Ancestral Territory in Biigtigong Nishnaabeg. Department of Geography, Western University.

2020 - Gabrielle Bruser. (Internal Examiner). The impact of geographical barriers and socioeconomic challenges on HIV treatment adherence in Kampala, Uganda. Department of Geography, Western University.

2020 - Bianca Ziegler. (Internal Examiner). Pregnancy in Peril: The impact of conflict on antenatal care and skilled birth attendant utilization in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi. Department of Geography, Western University.

2020 - Alana Kehoe. (External Examiner). Fanning the Flames of Disaster: The Role Colonialism Plays in the Impact of Wildfire on Indigenous People in Northern Alberta. Department of Anthropology, Western University.

2019 - Jeffrey Grieve. (External Examiner). Digital Representation of Inuvialuit Traditional Knowledge: A case study in community engagement using Google Earth. Department of Anthropology, Western University.

Graduate Students Supervised

Name Research
M.A. Durksen, Lara Indigenous health and resource economics, Indigenous-led environmental impact assessments.
Ph.D. Pine, Deborah Research interests: Anishinaabe Gkendaasowin, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Conservation
M.A. + IDS Struminski-Bodden, Antonina Research interests: Leveraging water governance and water health in the development of an Indigenous value-based environmental risk assessment process.
M.A. Thom, Olivia Research interests: Indigenous wellness, sovereignty and worldviews and Indigenous-led environmental risk and impact assessment.