Laura Thibeault is Anishinaabe (Ojibway) and French. She is a member of Dokis First Nation and Muskrat Clan. She is currently pursuing an Indigenized PhD in Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research is grounded in her ongoing personal journey through infertility as an Anishinaabe woman. Within her search, Laura wants to honour and gather stories from First Nations women who have also experienced infertility and to learn from the ancestral and personal stories of First Nations Elders, Knowledge Keepers and Healers who support First Nations women through infertility trauma and grief.
Laura is the Director of Wellness Innovation with Shkaabe Makwa, a Centre for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Wellness at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Laura is a Co-Principal Investigator on an Indigenous Gender and Wellness Development Grant with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and a Collaborator, Partner and Co-Applicant on multiple other research projects. She is also part of the inaugural womenmind Mentorship Program for early-career women in research and sciences at CAMH. Laura’s commitment to supporting research initiatives as well as contributing to system change and community wellness is distinguished by her leadership in the areas of provincial initiatives, evaluation projects, knowledge exchange events, as well as training and education programs for Indigenous direct service providers that are coordinated, developed and implemented through Shkaabe Makwa. Laura is passionate about the healing and wellness of Indigenous peoples and driven to cultivate knowledge and inspire change.
Prior to her recent decade of experience in health care, Laura led the development of initiatives and services to support Indigenous learners on their academic and personal journeys at the post-secondary level and co-led the fundraising, design, and realization of the Baagwating Indigenous Student Centre at Ontario Tech University.
She is a Registered Social Worker and holds a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University, where she was awarded the Faculty Gold Medal for Academic Excellence. She also holds a Master of Education from Ontario Tech University and a Bachelor of Commerce in International Management from the University of Ottawa. As a fluent speaker in French and English, she is currently on the path to learning Anishinaabemowin. In her spare time, Laura enjoys cooking, traveling, fishing, listening to podcasts, reading, and spending time with loved ones at her family’s camp in Dokis First Nation.