Community-Based Research Canada

New Institutional Member – NORDIK Institute shares about their CBR initiatives

NORDIK Institute, affiliated with Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, was established in 2006, growing out of the university’s Community Economic and Social Development (CESD) program following significant demand for local research. Since its inception, NORDIK has served as a mechanism for university-community partnerships. NORDIK is dedicated to the practice of cross-cultural learning, holistic community development, and building Northern Ontario’s research capacity. Its research is grounded in the community resilience framework based on the four pillars of cultural vitality, social equity, environmental sustainability, and economic growth and diversity. A recognized leader in community economic development, NORDIK Institute has collaborated with non-profit, private and institutional partners across both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

NORDIK Institute’s team has been well recognized both locally and internationally. Its associates maintain an active research and community service program. Building on the past involvement in previous C2U Expos, the team at NORDIK is excited to expand its involvement with Community Based Research Canada.

NORDIK’s team includes:

Prof. Sean Meades, Director of NORDIK Institute.

Sean is a Lecturer in the Department of Community Economic and Social Development (CESD) at Algoma University and a PhD candidate in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at York University. His research focuses on political economy of language policy, discourse analysis, cultural and heritage policy, land-use planning and community economic development in northern, rural and Indigenous communities. Meades’ community involvement has included work with the LGBT2SQ community, anti-racism and Anishinaabe solidarity causes, cultural policy, and urban sustainability. He is currently the chair of FutureSSM’s Arts and Culture Action Team and serves on a number of Committees of Council for the City of Sault Ste. Marie.

Dr. Jude Ortiz, Research Coordinator of NORDIK Institute and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Community Economic and Social Development. She holds a BFA (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University), B.Ed. (Windsor), and PhD (Univesity of the West of England). With a strong background in the arts and community development, her research interests include the intersection of culture and the arts with community resilience; complex adaptive systems in regional identity transformations; and social enterprise and social entrepreneurship.  

Krista Bissiallon, Project Manager/Researcher

Krista is Anishinaabe kwe from Bawating (Sault Ste. Marie, ON) with roots in Mississauga First Nation. In addition to being a researcher with NORDIK Institute, she is co-founder of Young Leaders Circle. Krista has a B.A. (Hons) in Community Economic and Social Development and continues to live and work in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Since graduating, Krista has worked in various avenues of community development with a strong focus on supporting young people doing change work in her community. Krista is inspired by the good work of leaders creating systems change, and she brings her passion for people, learning, social justice and community development to her own practices.

Lisa Meschino, Manager of Operations and Communications.

Lisa holds a B.A. (Hons) in philosophy (York University), an M.A. in philosophy (University of Toronto), and a PhD in cognitive neuroscience (University of Waterloo). As a postdoctoral fellow at University of Waterloo, her research focused on community arts programs, culture change, and dementia care. As a community-engaged artist and researcher, she is committed to creative arts education, arts-based health initiatives, and social models of care.

Tamanna Rimi, Research Assistant.

Tamanna is currently completing her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University (ISU). She has a M.S. in Economics (Tufts University), M.S.S.in Economics (University of Dhaka), and B.S.S. in Economics (University of Dhaka).

Sadaf Kazi, Research Assistant.

Sadaf has her B.A. (Hons) in Business Administration with a specialization in Accounting. Since moving to Canada and Sault Ste. Marie, she has been an active volunteer with the Rotary Club and its community-driven activities.

Dr. Gayle Broad, Research Associate

Gayle is Associate Professor Emerita in the Community Economic and Social Development (CESD) program at Algoma University and inaugural Director at NORDIK Institute (2006-2017). Gayle’s research interests include the social economy particularly in Northern, rural and Indigenous communities; and research methodologies for participatory practice.

Dr. Linda Savory Gordon, Research Associate

B.A.(Queen’s); M.S.W.(McGill); PhD (Bristol) R.S.W.

Linda is Associate Professor Emerita in the Community Economic and Social Development (CESD) program at Algoma University. For the past 13 years, she had dedicated herself to volunteering and conducting research to support the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT), a grassroots initiative bringing together Indigenous and Settler communities.

Dr. Sheila Gruner, Associate Professor, Community Economic and Social Development

Sheila holds a B.A. Hons. (Guelph), M.E.S. (York); PhD (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto). She has been instrumental supporting organizations working for the defense of political, cultural, and territorial rights of Indigenous and Black communities in relation to the Colombia peace accord process.

Dr. Laura Wyper, Assistant Professor, Community Economic and Social Development

Laura holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery (Laurentian University), a B.Ed. (Trent University), a M.A. in Adult Education and Community Development (OISE/UT), and a PhD in Adult Education and Community Development with a specialization in Comparative, International and Development Education from (OISE/UT). Living on a small hobby farm outside Sault Ste. Marie, she is able put into ‘praxis’ some of the ecological and food sovereignty practices she teaches at Algoma University.