Dr. Holly McKenzie is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow with the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Sociology. Her community-engaged research program explores wellness from critical, decolonizing and feminist frameworks, with a focus on responsive supports, including Animal Assisted Interventions. Her postdoctoral research builds on her CIHR-funded doctoral work with urban Indigenous women living on the homelands of the Métis and Treaty One (Winnipeg), Treaty Four (Regina) and Treaty Six (Saskatoon) territories. This project focused on reproductive (in)justice and highlighted that supportive and responsive practices foster Indigenous women’s wellness.
Holly’s postdoctoral research will build on these findings through examining a wholistic, responsive support: therapy dog visits. She is working with Dr. Colleen Dell and a multidisciplinary team to explore “What supports PAWSitive interactions among therapy dog-handler teams and patients experiencing concerns related to mental health and/or substance use?” In order to do so, she will be observing therapy dog-handler teams while they visit patients at the Royal University Hospital Emergency Department as well as interviewing patients and dog-handler teams.
Holly is a white-settler who grew up on her family farm on the homeland of the Métis and Treaty Four territory. She now lives in Saskatoon with her partner and Great Dane, Opal and enjoys dog sports, reading and camping. he is the Secretary of the Great Dane Club of Canada-Midwest Division and member of the Saskatoon Kennel and Obedience Club.
Photo Credit: Maki Fotos
PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC
MA in Canadian Plains Studies (Interdisciplinary), University of Regina, Regina SK
BA (Hons) in Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Regina, Regina SK
BHS, University of Regina, Regina SK
Varcoe, C., Ford Gilboe, M., Browne, A. J., Perrin, N., Bungay, V., McKenzie, H., Smye, V., Price, R., Inyallie, J., Khan, K. and Dion Stout, M. (2019). The Efficacy of a Health Promotion Intervention for Indigenous Women: Reclaiming Our Spirits. Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Varcoe, C., Browne, A., Ford-Gilboe, M., Dion-Stout, M, McKenzie, H., Price, R., Bungay, V., Smye, V., Inyallie, J., Khan, K., Day, L., Heino, A. & Merritt-Gray, M. (2017) Reclaiming Our Spirits: Development and Pilot Testing of a Health Promotion Intervention for Indigenous Women Who Have Experienced Intimate Partner Violence. Research in Nursing and Health 40(3):237-254.
McKenzie, A., Varcoe, C., Browne, A. J. Ford-Gilboe, M., Dion-Stout, M., Price, R., Day, L. & Inyallie, J. (2018). Context Matters: Promoting Inclusion With Indigenous Women. In F. Klodawsky, J. Siltanen, and C. Andrew Seeking Equity and Inclusion: Canadian Urban Encounters (pp. 83-110). Montreal, QC: McGill-Queen’s
McKenzie, H., Varcoe, C., Browne, A. J., Day, L. (2016) Disrupting the Continuities Among Residential Schools, the Sixties Scoop, and Child Welfare Today: An
Analysis of Colonial and Neocolonial Discourses. The International Indigenous Policy Journal 7(2) Article 4.
McKenzie, H., Dell, C., Fornssler, B. (2016). Understanding Addictions Among Indigenous People Through Social Determinants of Health Frameworks and Strength-Based Approaches: A Review of the Research Literature from 2013 to 2016. Current Addiction Reports 3 (4):378-386.
Fornssler, B., McKenzie, H., Dell, C. A., Laliberte, L., Hopkins, C. (2014) ‘I Got to Know Them in a New Way’: Rela(y/t)ing Rhizomes and Community-based Knowledge (Brokers’) Transformation of Western and Indigenous Knowledge. Cultural Studies and Critical Methodologies 14(2): 179-193. DOI:10.1177/1532708613516428
Indigenous women asserting reproductive sovereignty in the context of continuing colonial violence.
Date: June 2017
Conference: Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Annual Meeting
Co-authors: Hoskins, J., Arkles Schwandt, J., McKenna, B., Opikokew Wajuntah, C. & Banhegy, M.
Co-generating knowledge with urban Indigenous women and allies to foster reproductive justice: Reflecting on collaborative action-based processes.
Date: November 2016
Conference: National Women’s Studies Association Meeting
Co-author: Arkles Schwandt, J.
Solidarity not appropriation: How non-Indigenous healthcare providers and organizations can support Indigenous women’s reproductive justice and sovereignty (Shared workshop)
Date: November 2014
Conference: Indigenous Health Conference
What one mestizaje project looked like: Understanding Daleen Kay Bosse (Muskego) (Cree) and Amber Tara-Lynn Redman’s (Dakota-Sioux) disappearances and murders through media re-presentations and family members’ narratives. (Invited talk)
Date: October 2013
Conference: International Institute for Qualitative Methodology Qualitative Health Research Conference
Rebuilding relations: Centering Indigenous women’s self-determination in reproductive
Invited keynote at Ka Ni Kanichihk & Sexuality Education Resource Centre’s event: Honouring relationships: Reproductive justice & reconciliation
Date: April 2017
Reproductive Justice and Sovereignty as defined by urban Indigenous women: A Collaborative, Action-Based Project.
Phase 1 Community Report and Presentations
Date: November 2016
Co-authors: Varcoe, C., Nason, D., Kelm, M., McKenna, B., Acoose, S., Anaquod, J. Brown, M., Gervais, L., Hoskins, J., McGillivary, D., Quewezance, L., Schwandt, J. A., Smith, C., Wanotch, T.
The different stories of Cree woman, Daleen Kay Bosse (Muskego), and Dakota-Sioux woman, Amber Tara-Lynn Redman: Media coverage and family members’ narratives.
Date: September 2013
Join the Conversation! Joignez-vous à la discussion! Ne àwok làgà! Pi-Kakeekiton! Pe-mamiskota kista! Ne àwok nàgà! Nuhÿhel yanÿåti horîåæîh dé, nÿba hoæâ si t'óho lósí! DVD, Journey Magnet and Exercise Sheet
Date : 2012
Co-authors : Brockman, J., Campbell, E., Dell, C. A., Fornssler, B., Hopkins, C., Laliberte, L., Mykota, D., Papequash, C., Ross, C., Swampy, S. & Walker, T.
I like what Suzanne Clothier says, that "the dog not only notices what you do, but he believes what you do to be an accurate reflection of the relationship between you.”(*) Indeed, Opal doesn’t care about what I know about human-animal relations in my head, she only cares about my actions now and in similar situations in the past. She teaches me to consciously incorporate what I learn into how I act, to be present, and to be responsive to her as a sentient being. These are important lessons for all my relationships. - Dr. Holly McKenzie
*Clothier, S. (2002). Bones would rain from the sky: Deepening our relationships with dogs.
New York: Warner Books, p. 49