Migration has always fascinated me, specifically its impacts on Indigenous communities. Consequently, my main research areas focus on migration, health, and race/ethnicity. I am particularly concerned with understanding how patterns of colonization have impacted Indigenous identities, and how colonialism has, and continues to affect Indigenous people’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. Current Research
I am currently conducting my dissertation research using a semi-decolonized, mixed methods approach to understand Indigenous/Native American mental health in the Great Lakes region. For my quantitative study, I am analyzing BRFSS data on mental health outcomes in people who identify as Indigenous/Native American in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. To understand the relationship between tribal enrollment, Indigenous identity and mental health in people who identify as Indigenous/Native American in the Great Lakes region, I am currently conducting a qualitative study (see Current Project
for more information).Past Research
For my qualifying paper, I examined differences in mental health outcomes between Native Americans that reside in Tribal areas to those who do not. Pooling data from the National Drug Use and Health Survey (NSDUH), 2014-2017, and controlling for sociodemographic variables, I found mixed results. On measures of serious psychological distress (SPD), there were no significant differences between these populations. However, there was a significant difference in suicide ideation. Living in tribal areas lowered one’s odds of having serious thoughts of suicide.
More recently, I worked as a research assistant for Dr. Danielle Gartner (Epidemiology) and Dr. Heather Howard Bobiwash (Anthropology) on a pilot study, “Indigenous Approaches to Postpartum Mental Health: Assessing Opportunities for Community-based Growth and Solutions.”
This project was in collaboration with the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc.
(ITC), a consortium of Michigan’s federally recognized tribes.