CEIH Staff

Drew St. Laurent

BA, B.Ed, M.Ed – Senior Operations Manager

Drew St. Laurent, BA, B.Ed, M.Ed is of Métis (Cree) and German ancestry, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Drew grew up in the community of Powell River, British Columbia on (Tla’amin) Coast Salish territory.

Drew holds a Bachelor of Arts (Human Geography) from Thompson Rivers University, as well as a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) and Master of Education (Higher Education) from the University of British Columbia. During his graduate studies, he focused on Aboriginal access to post-secondary education within Canada. Drew has been a primary leader in the area of Aboriginal post-secondary access to education and presented his work to a variety of audiences including post-secondary institutions, provincial and federal governments and health authorities. He has worked as an administrator within Health Sciences at UBC since 2012.

Drew is an active member of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS) and sits on both the Aboriginal Recruitment and Retention Committee, and the Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellness Committee at the University of British Columbia. He is passionate about advancing Indigenous people’s access to healthcare through education and promoting Indigenous leadership of all aspects related to healthcare.

Email: Phone: (604) 822-5586

Leah Walker

Associate Director, Education

Leah Walkeris the Associate Director for Education at the UBC Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health. She is of Danish, English and Nlakapamux ancestry and has strong kinship ties with Sto:lo Nation at Seabird Island. She is a mom of an amazing 14-year old, a wife, a gardener, sailor, lover of arts, cook among other passions.  Leah is very interested in work that involves community partnerships, cultural safety, and working with medical and other health professionals in developing skills to better serve our communities. She currently leads UBC Summer Science, which brings Indigenous high school students to UBC to explore health careers; the UBC Learning Circle, a videoconference and webinar initiative supporting Indigenous knowledge, leadership and wellness; Aboriginal Health Community Administration Program (AHCAP) with Extended Learning, a one-year program that enhances Indigenous health leadership; and is the First Peoples Theme Lead for Indigenous Health curriculum in the Faculty of Medicine.  Her research  interests include cultural safety, anti-racism education and she is co-investigator of a five-year CIHR funded grant with partners in New Zealand, Australia and in Canada entitled “Educating for Equity: Exploring how Health Professional Education can Reduce Disparities in Chronic Disease Care and Improve Outcomes for Indigenous Populations.

Email: Phone: (604) 822-5973

Shannon Waters

Associate Faculty

Shannon Waters is Coast Salish and a member of the Stz’uminus First Nation on Vancouver Island. After completing medical school at UBC, Dr. Waters went on to train at the Indigenous site of UBC’s family medicine residency program, followed by an additional residency in public health and preventative medicine.

Today, Dr. Waters is committed to improving First Nations health as a Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health, as well as the Aboriginal Medical Director for the Vancouver Island Health Authority and the Acting Aboriginal Physician Advisor at the Office of the Provincial Health Officer.

Cole Daley

Learning Circle Manager

Cole is a member of the Chawathil First Nation but grew up in Courtenay, B.C. After coming to UBC from Vancouver Island, Cole completed his B.Sc. in Integrated Science and began working for the Summer Science Program to improve programming, increase public knowledge, and positively impact development of the program. After his final year with the Summer Science Program, Cole transitioned to working for the Learning Circle in his current capacity. In the near future, Cole hopes to pursue an MD degree, specialize in Emergency Medicine, and move his practice outside of Vancouver into rural areas. 


Cynthia Lung

Learning Circle Production Coordinator

Cynthia completed her B.Sc. in Combined Major in Science at the University of  British Columbia. Cynthia has worked Digital Emergency medicine in the past and now expanding her field in health communication through her new placement at SPPH. Cynthia hopes to inform her community and promote a healthy nation through empowering people with her production and social communication skills.


Rhonda Carriere

Program Manager, Certificate in Indigenous Public Health

Rhonda is of Métis and German ancestry and currently resides on the traditional territory of the Tsawwassen First Nation.  After completing Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in English with a focus on post-colonial literature from York University, Rhonda moved into advocacy work for Indigenous peoples.  As a former Chair of the Aboriginal Rights Coalition (Kairos) Vancouver, Rhonda headed public education projects such as 500 Years of Resistance and Treaty-making in BC with various organizations.  She was also the Associate Director of a unique community-based Master of Divinity Degree Program for Indigenous students at Vancouver School of Theology.  As a Coordinator for Self-Management BC at the University of Victoria, Rhonda provided peer-lead community-based health education for people living with chronic health conditions.  Rhonda is excited to bring together her passions for health, community-based education, social justice, and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to the work of the CEIH.

Email: Phone: (604) 827-4000

Courtney Smith

UBC 23 24 Curriculum Manager

Courtney Smith is a Scottish highlander from the McLeod clan on her paternal side and is of German ancestry on her mother’s. She was raised on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia on shíshálh swiya* and has strong ties to the shíshálh community and lands.

Having completed her Bachelor of Arts in First Nations and Indigenous Studies from UBC with a strong focus in Education, she moved on to work for the shíshálh Nation doing rights and title work for a number of years.

Courtney’s most recent focus has been developing Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) curriculum and facilitating trainings for health care providers. As the Curriculum Manager for UBC 23 24 Courtney is responsible for the maintenance, sustainability and growth of the curriculum in the effort to support students and faculty in teaching and learning about Indigenous Cultural Safety in health care.

Courtney is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Interdisciplinary studies with a focus in reconciliation and allyship education from the University of Calgary. As a second-generation Canadian settler, Courtney is committed to improving relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada that are based on respect, reciprocity and healing.

*swiya: ‘swiya’ is she shashishalhem (shíshálh language) word for ‘world’. The word ‘territory’ does not exist in she shashishalhem, thus elders, knowledge keeps and government request that the word ‘swiya’ is used instead.



Brooke McDonald

UBC 23 24 Curriculum Development Assistant

Brooke McDonald grew up in Taranaki, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and is of Scottish and English descent. Brooke is a dual Canadian – New Zealand citizen and has lived in Coast Salish territory since 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia. 

Brooke has worked on curriculum development and implementation of the UBC Summer Science Program. Currently she is the project assistant for UBC 23 24 Indigenous Cultural Safety a curricular initiative that provides training to UBC health professional students. Brooke intends to pursue an MD degree and specialize in family medicine, with a focus on rural practice.

Email: Phone: (604) 827-3875

Zankhna Mody

Summer Science Program Manager


Zankhna immigrated to Canada as a teenager from Gujarat, India, and has spent the last 10 years working in the intersections of education, science, and community development. She holds an interdisciplinary BSc. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Trent University, located in Nogojiwanong/ Peterborough. She brings a working background as an educator and coordinator with Camp Wanakita and Camp Kawartha, and as a Journalist and Associate Producer at the CBC Radio headquarters in Toronto.
She also completed an MA in Anthropology at Trent University with the help of federal and provincial grants, and her thesis focused on traditional ecological knowledge and conservation in Canada and Asia. After graduating, Zankhna designed and taught four online courses in anthropology, health, and cultural education at the College of the Rockies. Throughout her career, she has worked and lived with Indigenous communities in Ontario, BC, Ghana, Cuba, Cambodia, India, and Sri Lanka.

Zankhna is passionate about weaving together the natural sciences with community-based education, environmental and social health, and Indigenous knowledge systems, and is very excited to be immersed in this work at the CEIH and the Summer Science Program.


Jorden Hendry

Summer Science Program Coordinator

Jorden is Tsimshian and grew up in Terrace, BC. She studied at UBCO for 2 years before transitioning to the Vancouver Campus. She is a current Biochemistry student at University of British Columbia. Jorden is the Program Coordinator for the Summer Science Program. She has been working with the program for 4 years and has appreciated all the knowledge she has gained from the youth. Her area of interest is Indigenous Health, focusing on closing the disparities that exist in Indigenous populations.


Work Learn Students

Josh Kioke

Indigenous Student Programs Assistant

Josh Kioke is a student of mixed Indigenous and settler descent. Josh is Cree from the Attawapiskat First Nation in Treaty 9 territory. He graduated from UBC’s First Nations and Indigenous Studies program in 2014, and has returned to UBC to pursue a Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies. His area of research is the methodology and design of water monitoring programs in remote Indigenous communities.

Email: Phone: (604) 822-0178

Mike Wesley

Summer Science Work Learn Student

Mike Wesley is Gitxsan, and he is in his third of study year in the Dietetics program at the University of British Columbia. Mike is the Summer Science Program Assistant, and his role is to promote and recruit for the Summer Science program. In addition, Mike makes the necessary preparations for the next Summer Science year.

Tatyana Daniels

Summer Science Work Learn Student

Tatyana is from the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en First Nations and is a member of Wilps Miluulak, Lax Seel pdeek (Frog Clan). She was born and raised in the rural community of Gitanmaax in northwestern BC. She studied microbiology for three years before realizing that her passion was to help improve Indigenous health through Indigenous-focused, culturally-safe nutrition care, and is now a third year student in the Dietetics program at UBC. She would like to focus on advocating for Indigenous food sovereignty in communities across BC and providing nutrition care plans with the incorporation of traditional foods. She has five years of experience with providing informal science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for Indigenous youth in BC. She developed a program through the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology called IndGenius. The goal of this program is to provide free, accessible, and culturally-safe STEM programming for Indigenous youth in rural communities, with a focus on the complementation of Indigenous ways of knowing and western sciences. Her previous work experience in Indigenous STEM programming includes being the Coordinator for TRU Science & Health Science Camp and Indigenous Outreach Coordinator for the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology. It is her goal to promote, engage, and support Indigenous youth to pursue STEM and health careers. Currently, Tatyana is a Work Learn student for the UBC Summer Science Program 2019 and she is excited to be part of CEIH and the long-running UBC Summer Science Program.

Kevin Lin

Public Health Institute Work Learn Student

Kevin is of Taiwanese ancestry, born in Los Angeles, California and raised in the city of Burnaby, British Columbia. He is a current second year student in the Entry-to-Practice PharmD Program at the University of British Columbia. Kevin is the Program Assistant for the Indigenous Public Health Training Institute for the Summer Session.

Emily Henderson

UBC 23 24 Work Learn Student

Emily Henderson is a final year Anthropology student and is of mixed Kalaallit (Greenlandic Inuit) and European descent. She grew up in the Okanagan Valley and moved to Coast Salish Territory in 2014 and has since been associated with Indigenous and Northern Affairs (now IS/CIRNA), the Museum of Anthropology, and the Inuit Art Foundation. Emily is passionate about Inuit and circumpolar arts and the role the arts can play to help build healthy communities.