Natalie Clark

Natalie Clark

Natalie Clark

Name: Natalie Clark
Position: Associate Professor
Phone: 250-852-7152


My interests are in the area of violence, trauma, youth health within an Indigenous and intersectional framework, sexual exploitation, abuse, rural and remote health, Indigenous health and girls groups within an intersectional and violence-informed model..
My work is informed and mobilized through my interconnected identities as a solo-parent of three Indigenous children; an academic; a community based researcher and counsellor; and finally my Welsh, Irish and metis heritage.
I continue to practice sexual abuse and violence counselling with children youth and adults, as well as providing training and consultation on the topic of trauma and violence. I developed a girls group model in Vancouver that I delivered for over 10 years in that urban context; and was part of the team that developed the network of Indigenous girls groups running in the Secwepemc Nation for which we won the Ashoka Change Agent award.

Research Interests

My research interests include Indigenous methodologies and community based participatory research projects within intersectional research teams. I have had several SSHRC grants exploring Indigenous field education, as well as a recent CIHR grant together with the Native Youth Sexual Health Network that challenges risk discourse in the lives of Indigenous youth. I have extensive experience; in community-based research in the areas of youth health including experiences with issues of sexual exploitation; eating disorders; youth justice and health, violence and the support needs of girls and women. My most recent research is focused on culturally safe and anti-oppressive field education for Aboriginal students; as well as creating a youth health research agenda within an intersectional approach including gender, culture, and geography. I am the founder and Director of the Centre for Community-Based Youth Health Research at TRU and through the Centre support research related to youth health in rural communities and small cities in partnership with community, and youth themselves.

Current funded research projects include the 2015 CIHR research project Beyond Risk, and a recently awarded SSHRC with my co-Pi Stephanie Bryson and in partnership with MCFD.


I am currently in the last year of my PhD in Public Policy and Gender and Health at Simon Fraser University. My research topic is examining Secwepemc child and youth healing responses to trauma and violence. I have a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of BC in addition to a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work also from UBC. I have extensive training in play therapy and sexual abuse counselling at the graduate level.


Peer-Reviewed Journals:

Clark, N. (2016). Red Intersectionality and Violence-informed Witnessing Praxis with Indigenous Girls. Journal of Girlhood Studies. Special Issue.

Clark, N. (2016). Shock and Awe: Trauma as the New Colonial Frontier Journal of Humanities. Special Issue: Decolonizing Trauma Studies: Trauma and Postcolonialism

Clark, N. & Drolet, J. (2015). Melq'ilwiye??? Coming Together: Reflections on the journey towards Indigenous social work field education. Currents: Scholarship in the Human Services. Special Issue on Social Work Field Education in Canada.

Johnson, S., Te Momo, F., Clark, N., Sparrow, C., & Hapi, R. (2015). Indigenizing the international academy on unceded territory.. Canadian Journal of Native Education. 2015 Theme Issue: 1.

Hankivsky, O., Grace, D., Hunting, G., Giesbrecht, M., Fridkin, A., Rudrum, S., ... & Clark, N. (2014). (2014). An intersectionality-based policy analysis framework: critical reflections on a methodology for advancing equity. International journal for equity in health. 13(1): 119.???

Clark, N. (2013). Perseverance, determination and resistance: An Indigenous intersectional policy analysis of violence in the lives of Aboriginal girls and women. Intersectional Based Policy Analysis. Hankivsky, O. (Ed.).

Clark N., Walton, P., Drolet, J., Tribute, T., Jules, G., Main, T., & Arnouse, M. (2013). Melq'ilwiye??? Coming together: Intersections of cultural identity and health for urban aboriginal youth in the interior of BC. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research.

Clark, N., Reid, M., Drolet, J., Peirce, J., Samuel, M., Charles, G., ??? Arnouse, M. (2012). Imagining Indigenous social work field education as ethical space: ???Melq???ilwiye??? coming together globally for culturally safe practice Indigenous social work practices and theories. Native Social Work Journal. Volume 8.

Drolet, J., Christianson, T., Clark, N. (2011). The BRIDGE Project: Building rural inter-professional discussions and group experiences. Journal of Remote and Rural Health.

Clark, N., Hunt, S., Good, T., Jules, G. (2010). Ethical dilemmas in community-based research: Working with vulnerable youth in rural communities. Journal of Academic Ethics, Special Issue.

Smith, A., Leadbeater, B., Clark, N. (2010). Transitions to adulthood for vulnerable youth In British Columbia, Canada. Relational Child and Youth Care Practice. 23(2).

Clark, N., Drolet, J, Arnouse, M; Mathew, N., Walton, P., Tamburro, P., ??? Armstrong, J. (2010) Decolonizing field education: ???Melq'ilwiye??? coming together: An exploratory study in the interior of British Columbia. Critical Social Work, Special Issue on Indigenous Social Work.

Hankivsky, O., Reid, C., Cormier, R., Varcoe, C., Clark, N., Benoit, C., Brotman, S. (2010). Exploring the promises of intersectionality-type methodologies for advancing women's health research. International Journal for Equity in Health.

Hulko, W., Bepple, K., Turco, J., Clark, N. (2010). Safe spaces in BC???s interior working with LGBT youth to promote mental health. Visions Journal for Mental Health and Addictions.

Clark, N., Drolet, J., Arnouse, M., Mathew, N., Michaud, V., Walton, P., ???Armstrong, J. (2010). ???Melq???ilwiye??? coming together in an intersectional research team ??? Using narratives and cultural safety to transform Aboriginal social work and human service field education, Pimatisiwin. 7(2).

Clark, N. (2009). Who are you and why do you care: Intersections of identity within the university. Reflections: Narratives of professional helping special issue inside out: Reflections on personal and professional intersections. Grise-Owens, E., Lay, K. (Ed.). 15(2) pp. 5-14.

Employment History

Since completing my Master's in 1992 I have practiced in the area of sexual abuse and trauma, youth addictions; child and youth mental health; family counselling and art and play therapy with children who have experienced child sexual abuse and trauma. I have over 20 years of experience as a therapist working with trauma and in the area of youth health; including working in non-profit programs for over ten years and as a consultant and clinical supervisor. I continue to practice counselling; provide clincial supervision in addition to supporting the development of Indigenous girls groups in the province of BC.
I have also worked as a consultant with organizations such as Childrena's Hospital on youth issues and with a variety of other organizations and community groups provincially and federally on developing competencies, best practices and healthy relationships at all levels in our society.

Before my current role at TRU, I spent 4 years at UBC in the School of Social Work as Chair of Field Education and Instructor, then Assistant Professor prior to leaving to return to TRU. I continue to teach at BCIT in the Business program and at the Justice Institute of BC.

Courses Taught

At TRU, I teach practice courses and special topics in abuse and trauma in addition to teaching field practice courses and groups. In my 4 years at UBC I taught both Master's and undergraduate courses in social work, in addition to directed readings courses on Indigenous trauma. In addition, I facilitate workshops for girls on topics including body image, anger and self-harming/depression. I also continue to teach at the Justice Institute of BC on topics of child sexual abuse and trauma; in addition to teaching online management courses through BCIT.

Professional Affiliations

Member of Canadian Association of Social Workers, and Registered Social Worker in addition to membership with the BC Play Therapy Association. .