Rural Health Equity Conference 2022


Updated: 1/31/2022

We have been continuing the conversation on how to best move the Rural Health Equity (RHE) conference forward in a reimagined way, especially given the continued global pandemic and multiple community disasters that have paused this conference’s ability to move forward with the original envisioned plan.

We have decided to move this conference entirely online, with two separate days to allow reconnection and continued conversation. The planned online dates are February 14th and 28th (times to be confirmed). Registration is now open! Check out the conference website for all the speaker and session details and to register!

This conference explores equity and health issues in rural settings, sparking dialogue and connections between people who share a passion for responding to rural and remote communities’ unique needs. Presentations will explore strategies for genuine engagement and create dialogue about the implications of research findings for both rural communities and service organizations. Our goal is to spark partnerships for transformative research and knowledge translation. Two main themes guide our program:



Rural communities are characteristically resilient and connected, often working together out of necessity to overcome inequities. This theme will feature examples of community action for health equity, inviting critical reflection on concepts like ‘collaboration’ and ‘equity’. Recognizing that inequities are systemic manifestations of unfair distribution of power and privilege, this theme will also explore issues of decolonization and reconciliation.




Integrated knowledge translation centres on relationships, transforming traditional ideas of separation between researchers, research participants, and research users. This theme invites deliberation on notions of evidence and knowledge, methodology and rigour, engagement, accountability, and inclusivity. We hope to ignite dialogue about the ways in which research is a public good, part of the systems and resources that shape society.


Featured Speakers


Dr. Sarah De Leeuw is an award-winning researcher and creative writer whose work focuses broadly on marginalized peoples and geographies. She has spent most of her life in Northern British Columbia, including Haida Gwaii and Terrace.

She is the Research Director of the Health Arts Research Centre and teaches in the areas of Indigenous peoples well-being and health humanities. Her research sits at the crossroads of social-cultural geography, health-humanities, social determinants of health, and anti-colonial methodologies. She is interested in why some peoples and communities have better lives than others, why other peoples and communities live with burdens of poverty, isolation, violence, discrimination, racism, sexism, or poor health.




Marion Erickson is the Manager at the Health Arts Research Centre. Marion Erickson is a Dakelh woman from the community of Nak’azdli and is a member of the Lhts’umusyoo (Beaver) Clan. Marion has her Bachelors of Public Administration and Community Development from UNBC. Marion has worked as a Researcher for a variety of projects including the Aboriginal Business Development Center, the National Center for Excellence in Indigenous Education, the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance, Nakazdli Band and the Castlemain Group.

Throughout Marion’s research experiences, Marion has recognized that the health and well-being of Indigenous people are connected to the health and well-being of the land. Marion also recognizes art as a way of storytelling and that this storytelling is a way to build relationships within our northern communities. This relationship-building is necessary to work collectively towards actively addressing health inequalities in the north.


Laura McNab-Coombs is a Metis woman currently living on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh of the Dakelh Nation. Laura is a biomedical studies student at the University of Northern British Columbia. She currently works part-time as a HARC Researcher and is a full-time Indigenous Health Research Facilitator for the BC NEIHR.

Laura aspires to obtain a career in medicine, focusing on the health and wellness of northern Indigenous communities. She hopes to provide a practice that can gracefully merge Traditional and Western medicine, creating a respectful and safe space for Indigenous patients within the Canadian Healthcare System.



Would you like to get involved?

Thank you to those who have submitted an abstract during this time. If you would like to submit an updated abstract or have any questions, please send it to:

Want to share this event with your network?

Thank you! Attached is a pdf poster to share with your network.


Registration is Now Open for the Rural Health Equity Conference 2022! Register on the conference website at this link.


See the full conference schedule on the conference website here.


This conference is supported by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) Convening and Collaborating Award and RHSRNbc.