THE HEC Lab conducts health, environment, and community-led research undertaken through the University of Victoria and Queen’s University. The University of Victoria is situated on the traditional territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən speaking peoples: the Esquimalt, the Songhees and the W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations. Queen’s University is situated on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe.

Our Research

The HEC Lab focuses on reconciliatory, respectful, reciprocal, and responsible community-based participatory research. The Lab is committed to equity-oriented projects that apply social, environmental, and health lenses, and our work comes together through intersections of cultures, places, power/resistance, and relational ethics using innovative, decolonizing research methodologies. The HEC lab is equipped with a wide range of field equipment (audio/video recording, photovoice, and digital story technologies), qualitative data analysis and transcription software, as well as common and individual internet-connected computer work stations. The HEC Lab strives to cultivate the next generation of critically-engaged scholars by providing significant and meaningful research training opportunities for highly qualified personnel.

Dr. Heather Castleden

@H_Castleden

Dr. Heather Castleden is a white settler scholar at the University of Victoria where she is a Full Professor and holds the Impact Chair in Transformative Governance for Planetary Health.

Graduate Supervision

If you are interested in applying to work with Heather in the HEC Lab, we encourage you to email Heather with a statement of interest, an up to date copy of your CV, a copy of your unofficial transcripts, as well as an exceptional piece of writing.

The Lab

The HEC Lab is always looking to recruit prospective graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, undergraduate honours students, and volunteers. As a member of the HEC Lab, you will have the opportunity to work and collaborate with a cadre of peers with research interests just like yours. This includes participating in HEC Lab meetings that focus on building academic and professional skills, such as conference presentations, grant writing workshops, developing research projects, and collectively working to contribute to other projects going on in the Lab to ensure all of our outputs are of exceptional quality.

Profiles

View the profiles of the students in the HEC Lab.

Publications

View publications of the HEC Lab

News & Updates

  • HEC Lab is going coastal
    As of July 1, 2021, the HEC Lab is going coastal – to the west coast – to the traditional territory of the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day where the University of Victoria is situated.
  • With so much at risk, we couldn’t just wait for help’: Indigenous communities and COVID-19
    ‘Heather Castleden just published an OpEd in the Globe and Mail with colleagues, Chantelle Richmond and Chelsea Gabel, entitled ‘With so much at risk, we couldn’t just wait for help’: Indigenous communities and COVID-19 Click here to view the article on the Globe & Mail website.

Current Projects

Intersectional Perspectives on Climate Change and Public Health
We are facing a crisis with respect to human-induced climate change, which is impacting the land, water, and air around us. The link between healthy lands, waters, and people has been known, embodied, and taught in Indigenous societies since time immemorial, yet these knowledge systems have been largely delegitimized, ignored, or dismissed in the natural…
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Spirit of the Lakes
We are facing a crisis with respect to human-induced climate change, which is impacting the land, water, and air around us. The link between healthy lands, waters, and people has been known, embodied, and taught in Indigenous societies since time immemorial, yet these knowledge systems have been largely delegitimized, ignored, or dismissed in the natural…
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Relational Accountability
After a decade of research efforts towards decolonizing the Settler-dominated academy I found renewed inspiration from reading Adam Gaudry and Danielle Lorenz’s 2018 publication “Indigenization as inclusion, reconciliation, and decolonization: Navigating the different visions for indigenizing the Canadian Academy”.
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Making Space For Ceremony
For many Indigenous Peoples, Ceremonies have always been a part of everyday life for individual and community health and wellbeing. As a global pandemic, COVID-19 has impacted all of us; but some are impacted more and others less given pre-existing inequities, disparities, injustices.
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Our Ancestors Are in Our Lands, Waters, and Air
To date we have been researching the impacts of the pulp and paper mill in the estuary adjacent to the community of Pictou Landing First Nation, known as A’se’k, which provided us with the foods, medicines, transportation, shelter, and tools we have needed to survive and thrive since time immemorial.
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Podcast: Getting Personal

WELCOME TO ‘GETTING PERSONAL’! Sam, Saskia, Kiera, and Erica are four graduate students currently doing research in the areas of geography, environmental studies, and health promotion at Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ontario.

Digital Stories

Digital storytelling is a tool in research and teaching that is showing promise in terms of positive (i.e. effective) social change, while embodying key tenets of ethical praxis. Digital stories are essentially short multi-media film vignettes that draw upon still frame images, video, audio, music, and a pre-recorded narrative to tell a personal or collective story about a particular topic.

Contact

The HEC Lab is always looking to recruit prospective graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, undergraduate honours students, and volunteers. As a member of the HEC Lab, you will have the opportunity to work and collaborate with a cadre of peers with research interests just like yours. This includes participating in HEC Lab meetings that focus on building academic and professional skills, such as conference presentations, grant writing workshops, developing research projects, and collectively working to contribute to other projects going on in the Lab to ensure all of our outputs are of exceptional quality.

If working with a team of highly driven academic peers in an environment that fosters skill development and team building in the context of collaborative research, please connect with us! We are seeking students interested in:

  • Community-based participatory research
  • Indigenous renewable energy in Canada
  • Environmental racism and social justice
  • Critical, participatory, and Indigenous methodologies
  • Two-Eyed seeing
  • Indigenous health equity
  • Treaty rights
  • Modern treaty implementation
  • Relational ethics

    If you are applying to work with us at the HEC Lab, please also include the following with your message: