Current Research and Interest

Research Interests

  • Criminal Harassment
  • Incest, Sexual Assault
  • Violence Against Women
  • Expressive Arts Therapy
  • Feminist Social Work
  • Anti-Racism, Mediation
  • Sexual Expressions and Identities

Research of Interest

Occupational Stress Among Canadian University Academic Staff

Creativity, Northern Resilience, Social Justice, and Artivism. 

For more than five years I have been advocating that UNBC students who have shared their scholarship with me (in my roles as supervisor, committee member or external) participate in publishing a collection of our creative works. The writing will in various genres (poetry, storytelling, scholarly, autoethnography or a combination of genres.  The writing will in various genres (poetry, storytelling, scholarly, autoethnography or a combination of genres.  Students and graduates have been very enthusiastic. Each author will speak to all or some of the key words in the title of the book (based on the research they have completed). The following is a list of graduates (or almost graduates) who are presently working on an eight page summary of their UNBC scholarship for inclusion in this book:

  • Dahne Harding, MA, M.Ed. Candidate: Homeless women and artivism
  • Jillien Humphrey, MSW:  Social workers using creative interventions in the north
  • Ser Black, M. Science: Northern farmers: autoethnography of strength and resilience
  • Mer Dorber, MA, doctorale application in process: Adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and how artivism helps them
  • Ree Bradley, MA Candidate: Feminism/ Femininity and homeless women using artivism
  • Kathryn Ens, RSW, MSW Candidate: Social workers with bi-polar disorder and how spirituality/ creativity assists them to remain strong
  • Allan Hugget, MSW: Youth in detention and how hyper-masculinity is part of their trouble
  • Chuck Fraser, MSW, RSW: A First Nations community and creative healing
  • Jeff Talbot, MSW, RSW: Recovery from alcoholism using creativity
  • Agata Skoreki, MA: Autoethnography, farming volunteers, creative resilience
  • Jorge Kelly, MSW: Invisible dis/ abilities and healing
  • Laurel Richardson, MA: First Nations/ Settler youth tell their stories of cultural learning
  • Wendy Flanagan, MSW, RSW: Cultural Studies, social work and imagining conversations
  • Daniel Gallant, MSW Candidate: Autoethnography and exiting extremism
  • Adrienne Fitspatrick, MA: Three holocaust sites and the stories they tell
  • Glen Beach, MSW, RSW: Youth and stories of drug abuse/change
  • Nikki Helmsted-Lette, MSW: Rainbow families: An autoethnography
  • Jeremy Stewart, MA: Northern creative communities
  • Janine Cunningham, RSW, MSW Candidate: Transitions First Nations youth: hearing their voices
  • Ben Laurie, MSW Candidate: Mediation and creative ways to consider social justice
  • Bryse Keyser, MSW Student: Males and healing: Their stories
  • Christal Capastinsky, MSW Candidate: HIV, organizing, resisting: activists stories
  • Elizabeth Sharp, MA: Stay-at-home northern fathers: Hearing their voices.
  • Cindy West, MSW Candidate: Violence against women and the law
  • Lynn Box, MA: A Herstory from Prince George – and artivism as strength
  • Joyce Henley, MSW Candidate: Survival sex trade: How do women help women to leave or stay?
  • Carly Stewart, MA, Phd Candidate: Script writing and gender dynamics

There are other students who are not yet on this list but who may add their material to the collection during the next few months. These researcher/ activists/ scholars are from Social Work, Women’s Studies, Creative Writing, English or First Nations Studies. Most have done interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary work.  I have maintained regular contact with all of them. Many of them have robustly participated in poetry readings, story telling events, and artivism workshops with me ongoingly.  All of them have produced vibrant original research and writing which emphasizes some aspect of northern life, the innovators among us, and an orientation toward social justice. Five of them have already published poetry, scholarly articles or even published a solo book (Stewart, Kelly and Fitzpatrick). My wish is that within the next year I will be able to collect, organize, co-edit and publish a book of their work. Publishers who might be interested in this publication include Talon or Fernwood.  Adrienne Fitzpatrick  (Creative Writing MA) is my enthusiastic co-editor. She has decades of experience in the north, is dedicated to her career as a writer /researcher  and she shares the values and beliefs of these other writers. I am hopeful that I’ll be able to devote the entire summer of 2013 to organizing and editing this book.

Social Garden Research Project

University of Northern British Columbia

  • Dr. Si Transken
  • Serena Black
  • Sarah Boyd
  • Dr. Scott Green
  • Dr. Zoe Meletis
  • Marli Bodhi

Social Garden Research ProjectThe Gateway neighbourhood in Prince George, BC, is often characterized as being the most dangerous area of the city. As it is easy to become both disconnected and distrusting when living in such a place, it is important to explore how to provide the opportunity for residents to rebuild a sustainable and meaningful community. The intent of phase one of the Social Garden Research Project is to explore participant perspectives on the Growing Community Garden (GCG) and it's role in the Gateway neighbourhood. Thirteen people of varying participatory roles and demographics were interviewed throughout the second season of the GCG regarding their experiences in the garden, motivation behind participation, description and/or concerns around the neighbouhood. Four themes arose from the interviews: 1) the desire to reconnect and meet new people, 2) personal connections and experiential learning, 3) the growing potential of community gardens to influence change and build community, and 4) immediate concerns around drugs and crime in the neighbourhood.

Final report: Social Garden Research Project

Women's Her-story Project - Women's Wall of Fame

University of Northern British Columbia

  • Dr. Si Transken
  • Vienna Skauge-Bouillon
  • Sarah Boyd

The goal of the Women's Wall of Fame is to provide a snapshot and personal herstory of several women who have helped shape the Northern Women's Centre. The project looked at the past 15 years of the Women's Centre's beginning with the women who were involved with creating the Women's Centre to the current women who ensure that the centre continues to run. The women were asked to participate by either filling out a questionnaire, or participating in an interview. Women were asked how they were in/formally involved with the NWC, what their specific contributions were around, their wish for the future of the NWC, where they are now and how the NWC influenced their life, as well as a general question about anything they wanted to share about their experience working with the NWC.

Powerpoint Presentation: Herstory Presentation The final report will be made available shortly.

Women and Home Fullness: What helped us land on our feet

University of Northern British Columbia

  • Dr. Si Transken
  • Lacey-Rae Strader
  • Sarah Body-Noel

Far too often the notions of what government and funders assume is needed and necessary dictates what programs do or do not get funding. Rather than inquire about the supports women who are presently homeless need, this research focuses on those who have survived homelessness and what agencies, supports and individuals effectively and meaningfully helped them regain stability. The intent of phase one of the Women and Homefullness research study is to create a comprehensive list of suggestions and recommendations created by women who have used a variety of the social services Prince George has to offer. Ten women from varying backgrounds were interviewed regarding their struggles with previously being homelessness and their journey in finding secure housing and varying forms of self-defined stability. By asking what was helpful, rather then speculating about what could be helpful, this study recognizes that the experts in the area of need vs. pre-conceived need are the women who were service users and are now success stories.

Click here to see the final report of Women and Homefullness

Life in the Combat Zone: Exploring Women's Health in relation to Child Custody and Access Dispute in northern BC (2010)

University of Northern British Columbia

  • Dr. Si Transken (Principle investigator)
  • Sarah Body-Noel (Project Coordinator)
  • Jacqueline Moyse (Research Associate)
  • Vienna Bouillon (Research Associate)
  • Amanda Labbe (Research Associate)

The primary purpose of the research was to qualitatively explore the physical, mental and emotional health and well-being of women in relation to the child custody litigation process. The research focused on women's accounts of how being embroiled in a court-involved child custody battle can have many impacts on their health status. The research time also sought to understand the health of women in northern BC who face legal and social inequities in relation to the systems and processes around child custody and access issues.

Click here to view the final report of Life in the Combat Zone

Playing the Game: Women's experiences with Child Custody and the Legal System (2009)

 University of Northern British Columbia

  • Dr. Si Transken
  • Sarah Body-Noel
  • Vienna Bouillon
  • Lacey-Rae Strader

This study focused on qualitatively examining women's experiences and the impacts of gender-roles in relation to court-determined child custody, Legal Aid and the court process. Women were asked to describe their lived experiences related to the legal system and child custody, how wealth/lack of wealth affected the process, and what resources and services they utilized. By researching women who have worked through the legal system, we can discover what barriers, whether they be financial or lack of services, that created difficulties for women trying to manoeuvre the court system. By identifying barriers, we can then provide suggestions for changes in varying scopes, which could help other women navigate the system.

Click here to view the final report of Playing the game.

Altering Rotten smiles to lovely smiles: how might this be life changing?

University of Northern British Columbia

  • Dr. Si Transken
  • Lacey-Rae Strader

Often individuals can be heard complaining about the price of a simple cleaning or filling from the dentist; however, many of these people have some form of dental coverage that assists them in paying the dentists’ bill. Other individuals can be heard lamenting the fact that they do not have the opportunity to complain about paying the high prices, because they can not afford any form of dental insurance and thus can not dream of paying full price for a simple cleaning. With fewer business and unions offering dental care and with the price of a simple cleaning amounting to a month’s worth of groceries for some families, universal dental care is the next large national project that needs to be addressed. Much like the stop smoking campaign involving graphic posters, this study intends to create awareness for the plight of those who can not afford health care by developing educational posters. These posters will provide a visual of the suffering of those experiencing oral decay do to the inability to pay for anything—not even a simple cleaning.  Ideally these posters will invoke individual’s logic and imagination and create a foundation to begin to build a case for universal health care. A final report summarizing participant’s experiences regarding poor dental health and the lack of services will be written in the hopes of encouraging community discussion and problem solving around the issue poverty and dental care.