Thompson Rivers University

Natalie Clark

Name: Natalie Clark
Position: Associate Professor


Dr. Clark currently holds the position of Associate Professor and Chair of the School of Social Work and Human Service at Thompson Rivers University. Natalie is also the Co-Chair of the Status of Women Committee for TRUFA. Natalie is also on faculty with BCIT (for over 15 years) where she teaches in the Business program, as well as the Justice Institute of BC (over 20 years) where she teaches courses in trauma and violence informed practices and addictions, and Indigenous trauma informed practices.

Natalie continues to practice as a clinical supervisor, educator and counsellor specializing in violence and trauma as well as a girls group facilitator for Indigenous girls. Natalie's practice, teaching, activism and research over the last 25 years has focused on healing from violence and trauma with children, youth and their families and communities and the coping responses to trauma and violence. She possesses over 25 years experience in the area of trauma and violence with a focus on healing and resistance, and coping responses including self-harming, substance use, disordered eating and other survival responses.

In carrying out her work, Natalie takes into consideration the impact of colonial and gendered policies on Indigenous children, youth, families and communities. Her work is informed and mobilized through her interconnected identities including her Metis ancestry; as a parent of three Secwepemc children, and part of the Secwepemc community through kinship ties; an academic, activist and sexual abuse counsellor.

Natalie's interests are in the area of violence, trauma, youth health within an Indigenous and intersectional framework, girls groups and trauma and violence-informed practices in a variety of settings.

Research Interests

Natalie's research interests include Indigenous feminist methodologies and community based participatory research projects within intersectional frameworks. Her most recent research (2019) is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation Connection Grant, The project, in partnership with Elder Minnie Kenoras and Indigenous faculty, community and girls, , Cu7 me7 qwelewu-kt, translates to Come on, lets go berry-picking, and is an intergenerational, land-based research program that expands upon a weekly girls group that currently operates in the Neskonlith community.

LIFETIME SUMMARY: $766,017. Principal Investigator *competitive $647,017.

UBC Subventions Grant Congress 2019 Indigenous Youth Calls to Action
$5000 2018 2019 with S. Hunt (PI) and M. Ellen Turpell

SSHRC Insight Grant Fostering Land Based Initiatives as a Local Food Security Strategy in Northern Indigenous Communities in Canada 2018 2020 M. Robidoux (PI) N. Clark with C. Mason & C. Gaudet

*SSHRC Partnership Development Grant (2018) Transforming the field education landscape: intersections of research and practice in Canadian social work field education $19,996 J. Drolet (PI) with N. Clark et al.

CIHR Ombashi R. McCormick(PI) N. Clark et. al.

*SSHRC Insight Witnessing the "Dark Secret" of Student-to-Student Abuse in Canada's Indian Residential Schools $121,174 2017 2020 Grant Charles (PI) Natalie Clark with Mary Ellen Turpell, Sarah Hunt and Mike DeGagne

SSHRC Connections Grant. Indigenous Girls Sovereignty. PI. Dr. Sandrina de Finney.

CIHR Saskatchewan Indigenous Mentorship Network Program (SK-IMNP)??grant through CIHR's Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health. Role: Co-Applicant.

TRU CBR Wise Practices in Sexual Assault Programs $2000 2017 2018 N. Clark with Kamloops Sexual Assault Centre

SSHRC Insight Development How do mothers and caseworkers develop 'care capital???? Testing an asset building framework in child welfare practice $69,000, 2016-2019 N. Clark and S. Bryson (Co-PI's)

CIHR Catalyst Grant Beyond Risk, $33,000 2014-2015 N. Clark & J. Danforth (Co-PI's) with S. Hunt

UBC Centre for Community Based Learning Fund Grant, $9,000, 2014-2015 N. Clark Rural Field Education.

Thompson Rivers University Open Learning Grant, $10,000, 2014-2015, P. Walton (PI)
N. Clark

Rural Health Services Research Network of BC, Collaborative Team Building Award
$5,000, 2014-2015 S. Caxaj, (PI) with N. Clark et. Al

UBC Centre for Community Based Learning-Remote Community Based Learning Fund, $4500, 2013-2014, N. Clark

Rites of Passage Groups Canadian Women's Foundation funded project with Interior Indian Friendship Society Aboriginal Education SD 73. $90,000, 2012-2015 N. Clark with C. Philips, D. Draney, R. Spence, S. Dixon

CIHR Dissemination Grant $25,000, 2012- 2013 M. Giesbriecht, O. Hankivsky, N. Clark et al.

SSHRC Insight Grant, $75,000, 2011-2013 P. Walton (PI), N. Clark et al.

SSHRC Aboriginal Research Grants, $210,000, 2010-2014 N. Clark (PI) with M. Reid (NVIT), G. Charles & R. Vedan (UBC), M. Samuel (MCC India) A. Tamburro, P. Tamburro, J. Drolet & P. Walton (TRU), J. Pierce (UNBC)

SSHRC Aid to Small Universities, $17,800 2009-2011, N. Clark (PI)

Interior Health Authority, $26,000, 2008-2009 N. Clark (PI) C. Varcoe, (UBC) J. Drolet & P. Walton (TRU)

BC Child and Youth Health Research Network Michael Smith Foundation, $9,900
2007-2008, N. Clark (PI)

SSHRC Aboriginal Research, $24,997, 2007-2009 N. Clark (PI) with J. Drolet, P. Tamburro, P. Walton (TRU)

Assistant Deputy Minister???s (ADM???s) Committee on Prostitution and Sexual Exploitation
$ 35,000, 2004-2006 N. Clark with S. Hunt & M. Mark (JIBC)


Natalie received her Bachelor of Social Work from UBC in 1990 and continued her academic studies to attain her Master of Social Work (UBC) with a focus on healing from abuse and trauma in 1992, followed by her PhD (SFU, 2018) with specialization in Secwepemc and Indigenous approaches to healing children and youth from violence. Natalie has extensive training in play therapy and sexual abuse counselling at the graduate level.


Recent publications for full access see

Clark, N. (2018). Cu7 me7 q???wele???wu-kt. "Come on, let's go berry-picking". Revival of Secwepemc wellness approaches for healing child and youth experiences of violence. Doctoral dissertation. Simon Fraser University.

Clark, N. (2017). Intimate Acts of Resurgence: Witnessing the Resistance of Indigenous Children and Youth in Everyday Acts of Resurgence: People, Places, Practices (eds. Jeff Corntassel, Taiaiake Alfred, Noelani Goodyear???Ka?????pua, Noenoe Silva and Hokulani Aikau), Olympia: Intercontinental Cry.

Saewyc, E., Mounsey, B., Tourand, J., Brunanski, D., Kirk, D., McNeil-Seymour, J., ... & Clark, N. (2017). Homeless and street-involved Indigenous LGBTQ2S youth in British Columbia: Intersectionality. Pages 13 40. Where Am I Going to Go? Intersectional Approaches to Ending LGBTQ2S Youth Homelessness in Canada & the U.S, Abramovich, A., & Shelton, J. Eds. Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Press.

Clark, N. Walton, P., Drolet, J., Tribute, T., Jules, G., Main, T. Arnouse, M. (2017). Melq???ilwiye (Coming Together): Reimagining Mental Health for Urban Indigenous Youth through Intersections of Identity, Sovereignty, and Resistance, pages 165-197. Critical Inquiries for Social Justice in Mental Health M. Morrow & L. Malcoe Eds. University of Toronto Press.

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

Hunt, S. & Clark, N. (2016). Beyond Risk: Looking Seven Generations ahead ??? For Service Providers.

Benedet, J. Anderson, S., Butterwick, S., Clark, N., Hunt, S. & Lorenzi, L. (2016). Sexual Assault at the University of British Columbia: Prevention, response and accountability. University of British Columbia.

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: coming together globally for culturally safe practice Indigenous social work practices and theories. Native Social Work Journal. Volume 8.

Clark, N. & D. Draney (2014). Cleqmelt: Indigenous Girls Groups. Kamloops: Interior Indian Friendship Society.

Employment History

Dr. Clark returned to TRU in 2016 as an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and Human Service. Prior to that she spent 4 years at UBC in the School of Social Work as Chair of Field Education and Assistant Professor. Natalie also worked for TRU from 2005 2013 as Instructor and Field Education Coordinator for the Human Service Program.

Natalie continues to teach at BCIT in the Business program and at the Justice Institute of BC.

Since completing my Master's in 1992 focusing on healing responses to sexual abuse, 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 Childrens' 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.

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. .


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