Our Team

Nadine Caron

MD, MPH, FRCSC – Associate Professor, Dept. of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine (NMP), Co-Director of Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health


Dr Nadine Caron currently resides in Prince George, BC where she provides surgical oncology care for those that call rural and remote Canada home. Nadine is also an associate professor in the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Surgery where she teaches in the Northern Medical Program. During her surgical residency, Nadine completed a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard University and was awarded UBC’s Top Student Award. Nadine is also appointed as an Associate Faculty member of the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University where she teaches for the Center for American Indian Health.Nadine is Anishnawbe from Sagamok First Nation. Her work involves a variety of audiences and knowledge users including governments, provincial health authorities, national medical organizations, health research funding bodies, and several universities to achieve identified and overlapping objectives. In 2014, Dr Caron was appointed Co-Director of the UBC Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health located at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health.





Martin Schechter

OBC, MD, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS – Professor, School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine Canada Research Chair in HIV/AIDS and Urban Population Health Program Director MHSc, School of Population and Public Health Co-Director, Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health

Martin T. Schechter is a Professor and Founding Director of the School of Population and Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine at The University of British Columbia. Dr. Schechter was a National Health Research Scholar and Scientist from 1986 to 1999 and then a CIHR Senior Investigator from 2000 to 2001. In 2001, he received a Tier I Canada Research Chair in HIV/AIDS and Urban Population Health. Dr. Schechter combines interests in clinical epidemiology and health services research with HIV/AIDS and urban health research. He is both a founder and National Director of the Canadian HIV Trials Network, a national network launched in 1990 of investigators and research facilities aimed at conducting trials of HIV therapies and vaccines. In 1992, Dr. Schechter helped to found the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and was its founding Director of Epidemiology and Population Health. He also served as Director of the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences. Dr. Schechter was founding President of the Canadian Association for HIV Research, and co-chaired the XI International Conference on AIDS in Vancouver in 1996.






Patricia Spittal

Associate Director, Research


Dr. Patricia Spittalis an anthropologist whose work addresses HIV related vulnerabilities of marginalized communities living in both resource rich and poor countries. She is the Principal Investigator of the Cedar Project, a CIHR-funded initiative to better understand the sexual and drug related vulnerabilities of Aboriginal youth who use drugs. She and her research team from Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda and Lacor Hospital, Gulu also received CIHR funding to establish a similar prospective cohort in Northern Uganda called the “Cango Lyec Project” (Healing the Elephant), addressing the HIV vulnerabilities of people affected by conflict in Northern Uganda. Dr. Spittal worked with a multi-disciplinary team leading to the successful development of the new Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health. As Head, she is committed to building the Health in Populations Division at the School of Population and Public Health, and furthering Aboriginal health initiatives at UBC. She is also dedicated to her work in Northern Uganda. She was instrumental in the recent signing of a MOU between the Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Uganda and UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, and currently has two PhD students being mentored by faculty at Makerere.


Email: Phone: (604) 806-8779


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 | Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his



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.





Melanie Rivers

Curriculum Development Manager

Melanie (Tiyaltelwet), is proudly from the Squamish Nation. She has 22 years of experience in designing and delivering culturally appropriate Indigenous health education and policy at the provincial level and holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of British Columbia. Melanie was Program Lead and Educator at the BC Centre for Disease Control’s Chee Mamuk program and worked as a Senior Advisor at the First Nations Health Authority. Her areas of focus have included cultural safety and humility, harm reduction, traditional healing and wellness, strategic policy development, HIV/AIDS and health human resources. When she is not at UBC, Melanie is also a mixed media artist, instructor, and Expressive Arts Therapist facilitating art and creativity sessions that include painting, collage, movement, and poetry for individuals, teams and communities.







Cynthia Lung

CEIH Marketing & Communication Specialist | 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.

Email: | Preferred pronouns: she/her/hers






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 | Preferred pronouns: she/her/hers




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.

Email: | Preferred pronouns: she/her/hers


Tiffany Moses

UBC 23 24 Indigenous Cultural Safety Program Coordinator

Tiffany Moses is an artist and facilitator from Denendeh (Northwest Territories), and a member of Pehdzeh Ki First Nation. After completing a Contemporary Music and Technology diploma at Selkirk College and an Audio Engineering diploma at Pacific Audio Visual Institute, she has spent the last decade collaborating with numerous organizations and Indigenous communities through music and film production programs.
Passionate about initiatives focused on expression and understanding, Tiffany is dedicated to working in ways that explore connection, growth, and healing. She strives to address inequities with respectful engagement and a heart-centered approach.
Tiffany currently lives on the unceded world of shíshálh swiya (Sechelt, BC). When not working she can be found outside appreciating the natural world, walking, singing and swimming.

Email: | Preferred pronouns: she/her/hers





Olivia Baptiste

SSP/VISE Program Manager

Olivia is Tsilqot’in and Secwépemc from Xatśūll First Nation, near Williams Lake, BC. She grew up and attended school in Quesnel, BC on the traditional land of the Tsilqot’in, Dënéndeh, and Dakeł Keyoh First Nations. After high school, she moved to Vancouver to pursue an undergraduate degree at UBC with a major in biology. Olivia is the co-president of the UBC’s chapter of the Canadian Science and Engineering Society (.caISES) and has helped plan STEM outreach and networking events for Indigenous youth and university students and has traveled to Saskatoon for the AISES in Canada National Gathering. She is looking forward to creating a fun and interactive program for Indigenous youth to help grow their passions for STEM. In her spare time, Olivia is usually seen running, playing volleyball, or hiking.

Preferred pronounsshe/her/hers







Work Learn Students


Josh McKenna

Program Assistant

Josh is Métis with Cree and Anishinaabe ancestry on his mother’s side and European on his father’s side. He was born on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territory in Vancouver, British Columbia and grew up just outside the city on the ancestral lands of the sc̓əwaθən məsteyəxʷ (Tsawwassen) people in Ladner. Josh currently attends UBC in the Bachelor of Media Studies program and hopes to have a career in the future producing media with an Indigenous focus. Josh took on a Work Learn position with the CEIH in the summer of 2021 as a Program Assistant helping to develop materials for courses on Indigenous health. As a future First Nations and Indigenous Studies minor, Josh sees health equity for Indigenous Peoples as a crucial part of reconciliation and an important step towards Indigenous liberation.


Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his






Josie Duncan

CEIH Communications Assistant

Josie was born in East London, South Africa and moved to BC with her Canadian parents at age three. She is a member of the Xatśūll First Nation located on Secwépemc traditional territory near Williams Lake and has Scottish and Lithuanian background on her father’s side.  In spring 2019, Josie graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Major in Biology through UBC. Her goal was to pursue a career in providing holistic, culturally-affirming health care and to integrate traditional ancestral knowledge in Western models of practice. Fortunately, she was accepted into the UBC Bachelor of Midwifery Program in 2020 to fulfill these goals. During her first year, Josie has become the co-Indigenous representative for the Midwifery Students Association Executive Board. Currently, her roles are focused on advocating for equitable admissions, developing research, and supporting current BIPOC students through anti-racism initiatives. 

Email: | Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers





Ava Hughes

UBC 23 24 Volunteer

Ava was born and raised in North Vancouver on səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territory. She is currently finishing her undergraduate degree in Integrated Sciences with a specialization in Behavioural Neuroscience and Physiology at UBC, with hopes of pursuing a career in the field of medicine. Ava also has a passion for research and currently works at the UBC Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience lab. Ava is looking forward to helping the UBC 23 24 team with the implementation of the Indigenous Cultural Safety course to support health care professionals in providing culturally safe care.

Preferred pronounsshe/her/hers