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Heather Castleden

University of Victoria

Based in

North America

Dr Heather Castleden (she/her) is a Professor and the President’s Impact Chair in Transformative Governance for Planetary Health in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria. She is a white settler scholar, with ancestral roots in Scotland and England. Dr Castleden is trained as a human geographer, and she has been doing community-based participatory research in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples for over two decades. She is a former Canada Research Chair (2016-2021), Fulbright Scholar (2020-2021), and an elected member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists (2021-2028). She has co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals.

Dr. Castleden is the Co-Director of the ‘A SHARED Future’ research program, which focuses on bringing forward stories of Indigenous leadership in renewable energy across Canada and she is the Director of the Health, Environment, and Communities Research Lab (HEC Lab), which focuses on reconciliatory, respectful, reciprocal, and responsible community-led participatory research. The HEC Lab is committed to equity-oriented projects that apply social, environmental, and health lenses, and their work comes together through the intersections of cultures, places, power/resistance, and relational ethics using innovative, participatory, and decolonizing research methodologies.

Country(ies) of Specialty


Focus areas of expertise

Greenwashing Climate Justice Renewable energy Indigenous studies

How to Connect



Johnson L.R., Wilcox A.A.E., Alexander S.M., Bowles E., Castleden H., Henri D.A., Provencher J.F., Orihel D.M. (In Press). Weaving Indigenous and western-based ways of knowing in ecotoxicology and wildlife health: A systematic review of Canadian studies. Environmental Reviews.

 White, I., & Castleden, H. (2022). Time as an instrument of settler evasion: Circumventing the implementation of truth and reconciliation in Canadian geography departments. The Canadian Geographer, pp. 1-14.

Sylvestre, P., & Castleden, H., (2022). Asinabka in four transformation: How settler colonialism and racial capitalism sutured urbanization in Canada’s capital to the plunder of Algonquin territory. Settler Colonial Studies (Online).

Rose, J., & Castleden, H. Talking two different languages”: Methodological conservatism, CIHR reforms, and the effects on Indigenous health research. International Indigenous Policy Journal (2022).

Sylvestre, P., & Castleden, H., (2022). Refusing to Relinquish: How Settler Canada Uses Race, Property, and Jurisdiction to Undermine Urban Indigenous Land Reclamation. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Vol. 40 (3): 413-431. 

Cullen, D., & Castleden, H. (2022). Two-Eyed Seeing/Etuaptmumk In the Colonial Archive: Reflections on Participatory Archival Research. Area

Yeung, S., Rosenberg, M., Anand, S., Bannach, D., Mayotte, L., Lac La Ronge Indian Band Health Services, Fort McKay First Nation, Castleden, H. (2021). Bonding social capital and health within four First Nations communities in Canada: A cross-sectional study. Social Science and Medicine – Population health.

Sanchez-Pimienta, C., Masuda, J., Doucette, M., Lewis, D., Rotz, S., the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Tait Neufeld, H., Castleden H. (2021). Implementing Indigenous Gender-Based Analysis in Research: Principles, Practices, and Lessons Learned. Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, 11572: 1-17. 

Rotz, S., Rose, J., Masuda, Lewis, D., Castleden H. (2021). Toward intersectional and culturally relevant sex and gender analysis in health research. Social Science & Medicine, 292.

Castleden, H., Lin, J., & Darrach, M. (2021). “Public Health Moves to Innocence and Evasion? Graduate Training Programs’ Engagement in Truth and Reconciliation for Indigenous Health.” Canadian Journal of Public Health.

Bozkhov, E., Walker, C., McCourt, V., & Castleden, H. (2020). Are the natural sciences ready for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada? Exploring ‘Settler Readiness’ at a world-class freshwater research station. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 10, pp. 226-241.

Walker, C., Doucette, M., Rotz, S., Lewis, D., Tait 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.

Lewis, D., Castleden, H., Apostle, R., Francis, S., Strickland, K. (2020). “Governmental fiduciary failure in Indigenous environmental health justice: The case of Pictou Landing First Nation.” International Journal of Indigenous Health, 15(1).

Castleden, H., Darrach, M., Lin, J. (2020). “The public health emergency of climate change: How/are Canadian postsecondary public health sciences programs responding?” 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, 111(6), pp. 836-844.

Hoicka, C., MacArthur, J., Castleden, H., Das. R., Lieu, J. (2020). “Canada’s Green New Deal: Forging the socio-political foundations of climate resilient infrastructure?” Energy and Social Science Research, 65(1).

Sloan Morgan, V., Castleden, H., **Huu-ay-aht First Nations. “‘Our Journey, Our Choice, Our Future’: Self-Government enacted through the Maa-nulth Treaty with British Columbia and Canada.” (Published Online April 22, 2019). Antipode.

Sloan Morgan, V., Castleden, H., **Huu-ay-aht First Nations. (2018). “‘This is Going to Affect Our Lives’: Exploring Huu-ay-aht First Nations, the Government of Canada and British Columbia’s New Relationship Through the Implementation of the Maa-nulth Treaty.” Canadian Journal of Law & Society, 33(3): 309-334.

Stefanelli, S., Walker, C., Kornelsen, K., Lewis, D., Martin, D., Masuda, J., Richmond, C., Root, E., Tait Neufeld, H., Castleden, H. (Accepted July 25, 2018). “Renewable energy and energy autonomy: How Indigenous peoples in Canada are shaping an energy future.” Environmental Reviews. 1-11.

Sylvestre, P., Castleden, H., Martin, D., & McNally, M. (2018).”‘Thank you very much… You can leave our community now!: Geographies of responsibilities, relational ethics, acts of refusal, and the conflicting requirements of academics localities in Indigenous research.” ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies 17(3): 750-779.

Castleden, H., Hart, C., Harper, S., Martin, D., Cunsolo, A., Stefanelli, R., Day, D., & Lauridsen, K. (2017). “Implementing Indigenous and Western knowledge systems in water research and management (Part 1): A systematic realist review to inform water policy in Canada.” International Indigenous Policy Journal, 8(4).

Castleden, H., Hart, C., Martin, D., Cunsolo, A., Harper, S., Sylvestre, P., Stefanelli, R., Day, D., & Lauridsen, K. (2017). “Implementing Indigenous and Western knowledge systems (Part 2): ‘You have to take a backseat’ and Abandon the Arrogance of Expertise.” International Indigenous Policy Journal, 8(4).

Moore, C., Castleden, H., Martin, D., & Tirone, S. (2017) “Implementing the Tri-Council Policy on ethical research involving Indigenous peoples in Canada: So, how’s that going in Mi’kma’ki?” International Indigenous Policy Journal, 8(2) 1-19. MA

Castleden, H., Daley, K., Sloan Morgan, V., & Sylvestre, P. (2013). “Settlers unsettled: Using field schools and digital stories to transform geographies of ignorance about Indigenous peoples in Canada.” Journal of Geography in Higher Education 37(4), 487-499.

Castleden, H., Sloan Morgan, V. & Lamb, C. (2012). “‘I spent the first year drinking tea’: Exploring Canadian university researchers’ perspectives on the ethical and institutional tensions of community-based participatory research involving Indigenous peoples.” The Canadian Geographer 56(2): 160-179.

Castleden, H., Garvin, T., & **Huu-ay-aht First Nation. (2008). “Modifying Photovoice for community-based participatory Indigenous research.” Social Science & Medicine 66(6): 1393-1405.