Special Issue "Mental Health of Indigenous Peoples"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kim Matheson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Neuroscience, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
2. The Royal's Institute of Mental Health Research, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1Z7K4, Canada
Interests: indigenous youth; resilience; mental health; community-based participatory research; racism
Dr. Amy Bombay
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychiatry and School of Nursing, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
Interests: indigenous peoples' health; mental health; depression; anxiety; stress; intergenerational transmission; resilience
Dr. Robyn McQuaid
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Neuroscience, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
2. The Royal's Institute of Mental Health Research, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1Z7K4, Canada
Interests: depression; intergenerational trauma; inflammation; neuroendocrine; resilience; stress

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Globally, Indigenous peoples are vulnerable to mental health challenges associated with historical and ongoing effects of colonization. Explicit efforts have been made to displace Indigenous Peoples from their lands, resources, and identities. As resources are depleted, but global demand remains insatiable, even the most remote areas of the planet where Indigenous peoples have lived in balance with their environments for millennia are being infringed upon for the purposes of resource extraction and commodification. In more accessible resource-rich territories, Indigenous Peoples are displaced, marginalized, or constricted while their lands are developed or urbanized. Compounding these threats are the pernicious impacts of climate change, along with multiple determinants of health, including ongoing racism and inequities, yet connection to the land, sense of place, and environmental sustainability are embedded in Indigenous knowledge systems and practices and are core to spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental wellness. The papers in this issue explore the associations between connection to the land and the wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples globally, ranging from food sovereignty to disruptions in place-based relationships and identities created by child welfare policies. Of particular importance are strategies for revitalizing strengths derived from connections to land and place in order to promote healing, reconciliation, and wellbeing.

Dr. Kim Matheson
Dr. Amy Bombay
Dr. Robyn McQuaid
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • connection to land
  • climate change
  • well-being
  • Indigenous peoples
  • cultural identity
  • food sovereignty
  • displacement
  • social determinants
  • environmental determinants

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Cumulative effects of environmental stressors and historical trauma in Indigenous communities
Authors: Kim Matheson; Hymie Anisman
Affiliation: Carleton University

Title: Linking food insecurity to suicide thoughts and behaviors among First Nations adults living in communities across Canada
Authors: Robyn McQuaid; Amy Bombay
Affiliation: Carleton University; Dalhousie University

Title: Understanding sport, physical activity and holistic health among First Nations youth in Canada
Authors: Mark Bruner; Keiran Peltier
Affiliation: Nipissing University

Title: Grounding Wellness: Coloniality, Extraction, Placeism, and a Critique of “Social” Determinants of Indigenous Mental Health in the Canadian Context
Authors: Sarah deLeeuw; Viviane Josewski; Margot Greenwood
Affiliation: University of Northern British Columbia

Title: Impacts of major resource development on Indigenous peoples in Canada
Authors: Dianna Lewis
Affiliation: University of Western Ontario

Title: "We’re home now" : how does rehousing to a new public housing unit affect the wellbeing of Inuit families in the Canadian Arctic?
Authors: Karine Perreault; Mylene Riva
Affiliation: University of Montreal

Title: The role of land reclamation in strengthening belonging and identity for Indigenous wellness
Authors: Chantelle Richmond; Elana Nightingale
Affiliation: University of Western Ontario

Title: Strengths-Based Approaches to Mental Health Promotion/Suicide Prevention
Authors: Melissa Walls; Valerie O’Keefe
Affiliation: Johns Hopkins University

Title: Building Multilevel, Strength-Based and Culturally-Specific Interventions across the Prevention Spectrum to Prevent Suicide: Learning from Alaska Native/American Indian
Authors: Lisa Wexler and the research team
Affiliation: University of Michigan

Title: Insights from an intergenerational cross-cultural on-the-land camp the Canadian Northwest Territories
Authors: Kelly Skinner and the research team
Affiliation: University of Waterloo

Title: A cultural ecosystem service approach to understanding the impact of environmental changes on the health of Indigenous peoples on Walpole Island, Canada
Authors: Gerald McKinley; Dean Jacobs; and the community members
Affiliation: University of Western Ontario

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