Emily Haye is the first Mungo Martin Research Director of Indigenous Mental Health at UVic, Anisinaabe Metis, born in Toronto and from the Robinson-Huron Treaty area. Her mother’s side of the family hails from the Metis community of northern Ontario and the Thessalonian First Nation, while her father is British.
“My maternal grandfather (Belrose, Thibaud) is from the Algoma area (Tessaron First Nation) in northern Ontario, and comes from a long line of fishermen,” says Haig. “He grew up with his parents and his four siblings in his two-bedroom home with an outhouse.”
Haig describes his grandfather as someone who put a high value on education, often at family gatherings, reminding all his grandchildren of the importance of learning.
Respect the generosity of your family and be humble
In July 2022, Haigh joined UVic to begin a five-year term. On September 22, an indigenous naming ceremony was held at Wawadishwa, also known as Mungo His Martin House, a large ceremonial house built by the late Chief Mungo His Martin 70 years before him. rice field.
“I am greatly honored by the Mungo Martin family for allowing the University to use the names of their esteemed relatives for roles at UVic and for allowing this vision to be part of their legacy. I’m sorry,” said Haigh.
She has already visited Fort Rupert and is looking forward to meeting and forming a strong relationship with Chief David Mungo Knox, the great-grandson of Chief Mungo Martin.
Chief Mungo Martin was a world-renowned Kwakwakawak artist, revered for the Pacific Northwest coast and contemporary Aboriginal art. He has made significant contributions to the creative arts that have played an integral role in changing cultural perceptions of mental health.
“I was stunned to read about Chief Mungo Martin, who traversed the two worlds of Indigenous peoples and settlers and was seen at the time as a bridge to the restoration work on the totem poles,” says Haig.
As Chief Mungo Martin Research Chair for Indigenous Mental Health, Haig sees part of his role as the link between mainstream approaches to psychology and indigenous knowledge and ways of being.
The research chair is funded by a $1.5 million donation announced in December, and UVic Political Science graduate Bruce McKean says the research chair has knowledge and skills that align with Indigenous values. It hopes to create leadership and strengthen and advance those values for the benefit of Indigenous peoples. all Canadians.
McKean initially reflected on significant memories of visiting Thunderbird Park with his mother, standing in the scent of cedar shavings, and watching Chief Mungo Martin work on a sculpture, sitting in a study chair. proposed the name of
Noting that decades of systemic harm and abuse against generations of Indigenous peoples in Canada have continued for decades, Haig said that part of her work is to support these efforts towards the restoration of Indigenous peoples. It is to help address some of the structural issues.
My goal is primarily to serve indigenous peoples. This is a joint approach that benefits the country.
—Emily Hay, psychologist and UVic’s new research chair on Indigenous Mental Health
Haigh notes that community-involved research is ongoing, as well as the incredible amount of work done at UVic on projects such as LE,NOṈET. Campus-based experiential learning, leadership and community building, and need-based financial assistance.
Haigh has been following the work of UVic psychologist Chris Lalonde, co-principal investigator of the LE,NOṈET project. His research recognizes that cultural continuity is a protective factor against depression and suicide in Indigenous communities.
The journey that led to UVic
Hay grew up in Ontario and graduated from McGill University with a BA in Psychology. Throughout her undergraduate and her postgraduate education, Haigh was supported by scholarships and scholarships from indigenous organizations.
“Even when I moved to the United States for graduate school, they supported me throughout,” says Haigh. “Through her six years of training in graduate school, I was going to give back to those who helped me.”
“I’m one of those people who wanted to be a psychologist from an early age,” she adds. “I want to help people who are in trouble or sad.”
Haigh recalls creating a game called People Problem Helper and playing it with her family when she was about seven years old. Haig thinks looking back at his childhood games may have helped him understand his father’s depression.
“I can safely share that my father suffered from depression and that he was in therapy at the time. There must be, but it had a strong impact. ”
“My family is very close,” Haig adds. Her brother is a wildfire officer and her sister is UVic and she just got her degree in Indigenous Law (JD/JID).
Haig’s deep-seated need to help others in emotional distress is the driving force she brings to her new role.Her training as a psychologist in the fields of depression, suicide and self-harm is the basis for her new position in UVic’s Department of Psychology.
For Hay, who has wanted to return to his Canadian roots for several years, the new Research Chair position couldn’t be more perfect.
Haigh describes how he was inspired by UVic’s established reputation and commitment to truth, respect, reconciliation, and cross-sectoral decolonization practices.
“Looking back on my journey during my tenure at the University of Maine, I gained the freedom to refocus my work to research the personally meaningful areas of Indigenous knowledge, health and healing. And then I realized that I had overcome all the difficulties,” Haye explains.
This journey eventually led to UVic, an opportunity Haigh could not afford to work with indigenous communities.
“I believe I am one of 16 indigenous psychologists practicing or teaching at Canadian institutions of higher education,” says Haigh. “Part of my mission is to mentor future Indigenous psychologists, something I haven’t had in my own career.”
Decolonization of psychological approaches
Haigh is committed to identifying UVic students interested in pursuing a career in psychology with an emphasis on working with indigenous communities.
“We are teaching a new course this fall called Introduction to Indigenous Mental Health and Healing,” says Haig. “It’s full of great students who are interested in this important topic.”
For Haig, success will help educate, guide, and teach the next generation of psychologists, bridging the gap between indigenous knowledge and how we know in the Western approach to psychology. She uses a community-based approach to her research, including listening to the needs of indigenous communities and working collaboratively towards better mental health.
Indigenous Mental Health Chief of Research Mungo Martin is committed to decolonizing psychological approaches in a culturally safe environment.
The Chair’s role also supports UVic’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), particularly the UN’s SDG Goal 3, which focuses on health and well-being.
Read today’s news release