Indigenous Workways

Indigenous Workways is the lab’s newest knowledge sharing initiative.

Please visit the Indigenous Workways website for more information.

We have engaged in conversation with practitioners, community members, and academics on issues facing Indigenous youth in the workplace at a Roundtable at the 2015 Canadian Psychological Association, a 2016 two-day Knowledge Sharing event at Vancouver Island University – Cowichan Campus (funded by a SSHRC Connections Grant), and a presentation at the 2016 CANDO(Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers) Annual meetings. 

Currently, we are working with Aboriginal Education Centres at four Southwest Ontario post-secondary institutions to create opportunities for Indigenous alumni and students to share their stories about work.


May 2018

Wendi Adair, Catherine Kwantes and team were awarded an Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence grant for “Indigenous Workways: Creating Cultures of Trust via Effective Communication, Building Relationships, and a Climate for Cultural Safety for Indigenous Employees in Ontario and Canada” from 2018-2023.


This innovative research aims to increase employment and career advancement for Indigenous youth in Southwest Ontario and nationally by developing applied organizational communication tools, organizational climate best practices, and Indigenous employment and mentor networks. This participatory action research is a collaborative effort among scholars and Aboriginal Education Centres from four recognized Southwest Ontario institutions. Ultimately, the research will create psychologically safe work spaces, respectful organizational communication tools, and sustainable Indigenous alumni networks.

April 2018

Catherine Kwantes, Wendi Adair, Jeffery Hewitt (University of Windsor Law School) and team were awarded a SSHRC Insight Grant to fund “Indigenous Workways: Cultural Safety, Cultures of Trust and Psychologically Safe Work Places” from 2018 –2021.


This research focuses on trust and psychological safety in the workplace for Indigenous employees. It aims to develop a definition of psychological safety that incorporates cultural safety as a key component for Indigenous employees. This research represents a collaborative effort between the University of Windsor and University of Waterloo in Ontario, and Vancouver Island University in British Columbia. This research will result in innovations that focus on trust, respectful engagement, psychological safety, and Indigenization of the workplace.

Selected Publications:

  • Adair, W.L., Kwantes, C., Stonefish, T., Badea, R. & Weir, W. (2017). Conversations about Aboriginal work experiences: Reflections for community members, organizations, and the academy. Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development. 10(2), 53-72.
  • Kwantes, C., Stonefish, T., Adair, W.L., & Weir, W. (2017). Sharing knowledge~Building relationships: Lessons learned about employment realities of Aboriginal workers. Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development. 10(2), 33-40.

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Members of the Indigenous Workways team at Catherine Dallaire's art exhibit.Chloe Addie presenting her research at a conference.