Susana Caxaj, PhD

Susana Caxaj

Assistant Professor

Room 2300, FNB
519 661-2111 x88732


  • PhD (Western)
  • BScN (Queen's)

Academic Appointments

  • Affiliate Professor, University of British Columbia Okanagan

Research in Profile

Research Interests

  • Global health, including industrial impacts on community and migrant health
  • Indigenous health, health equity and cultural safety
  • Belonging, inclusion and service access among immigrant populations
  • Participatory Action Research
  • Social determinants of health and Intersectionality
  • Relational and Indigenous ways of Knowing

Additional Information

Recent Publications

Refereed Articles

  • Caxaj, C. S., & Cohen, A. (2019). “I Will Not Leave My Body Here”: Migrant Farmworkers’ Health and Safety Amidst a Climate of Coercion. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(15), 2643.
  • Schill, K., & Caxaj, S. (2019). Cultural safety strategies for rural Indigenous palliative care: a scoping review. BMC palliative care, 18(1), 21. *Please note an error on page 5 of this manuscript. Kelly & Prince (2010)
    should be cited and description should refer to a research framework, not a practice model*
  • Caxaj, S., & Diaz, L. (2018). Migrant workers’(non) belonging in rural British Columbia, Canada: storied experiences of Marginal Living. International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, 14(2), 208-220.
  • Plamondon, K., M., Bottorff, J. L., Caxaj, C. S. & Graham, I. D. (2018). The integration of evidence from the Commission on Social Determinants of Health in the field of Health Equity: a scoping review. Critical Public Health, 1 – 14.
  • Caxaj, C. S., Chau, S., & Parkins, I. (2018). How racialized students navigate campus life in a mid-sized Canadian city:‘thrown against a white background’but ‘comfortable enough to laugh’. Race Ethnicity and Education, 1-20.
  • Caxaj, C. S. & Kolol Qnan Tx’otx’, Parroquia de San Miguel Ixtahuacan. (2018). A community-based intervention to build community harmony in an Indigenous Guatemalan Mining Town. Global Public Health (in press).
  • Cohen, A. & Caxaj, C. S. (2018) Bodies and Borders: Migrant women farmworkers and the struggle for sexual and reproductive justice in British Columbia, Canada. Alternate Routes (in press).
  • Caxaj, C. S., Schill, K. & Janke, R. (2017). Priorities and Challenges for a Palliative Approach to Care for Rural Indigenous Populations. A Scoping Review. Health and Social Care in the Community.
  • Plamondon, K., & Caxaj, C. S. (2017). Toward Relational Practices for Enabling Knowledge-to-Action in Health Systems: The Example of Deliberative Dialogue. Advances in Nursing Science.
  • Caxaj, C. S. & Gill, N. (2016). Belonging and Mental Wellbeing Among an IndianCanadian Diaspora: Tensions in “Finding A Space of Our Own.” Qualitative Health Research.
  • Caxaj, C. S. (2015). A review of mental health approaches for rural communities: complexities and opportunities in the Canadian context. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 35, 3429-4345.
  • Caxaj, C. S. (2015). Indigenous Storytelling and Participatory Action Research: Allies Toward Decolonization? Reflections From the Peoples’ International Health Tribunal. Global Qualitative Health Research, 2, 1 – 12.
  • Caxaj, C. S., Berman, H., Ray, S. L., Restoule, J. P. & Varcoe, C. (2014). Strengths Amidst Vulnerabilities: the Paradox of Resistance in a Mining-affected Community in Guatemala. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 35 (11), 824 – 834.
  • Caxaj, C. S., Berman, H, Varcoe, C., Ray, S. L. & Restoule, J. P. (2014). Gold mining on Mayan- Mam territory: social unraveling and community health challenges in the Western highlands of Guatemala. Social Science and Medicine, 111, 50 – 57.
  • Caxaj, C. S., Berman, H., Restoule, J. P., Varcoe, C., Ray, S. L. (2013). Promises of peace and development: mining and violence in Guatemala. Advances in Nursing Science, 36 (3), 213 – 228.
  • Caxaj, C. S., Berman, H, Varcoe, C., Ray, S. L. & Restoule, J. P. (2012). Tensions in Anti-Colonial Research: Lessons from Collaborating with a Mining-Affected Indigenous Community. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 44 (4), 76-95.
  • Caxaj, C. S., Berman, H. (2010). Belonging Among Newcomer Youths: Intersecting Experiences of Inclusion and Exclusion. Advances in Nursing Science, 33 (4), 17 – 30.

Book Chapters

  • Caxaj, C. S., Berman, H. (2013). Anti-Colonial Pedagogy and Praxis: unraveling dilemmas and dichotomies. Philosophies and practices of emancipatory nursing: social justice as praxis. In Anderson, Kagan, Smith and Chinn. Philosophies and practices of emancipatory nursing: social justice as praxis.

Teaching Areas

  • Global Health
  • Qualitative Methodologies

Research Awards

External Funding

  • Testing a support model to address gaps in services that contribute to migrant agricultural workers’ vulnerability in the Okanagan Valley. 2019 – 2021. Vancover Foundation Field of Interest Participatory Action Research investigate Grant. ($146,639.20). Lead applicants: Caxaj, C. S. & Cohen, A. Co-applicants: Aguiar, L., Colindres, C. & Plamondon, K. Organization partners: Kelowna Community Resources, Migrant Workers Centre, RAMA and Interior Health.
  • The Public Life of Temporary Migrant Agricultural Workers: The Role of Social Support Systems, Policies and Practices. 2016 – 2018 SSHRC Insight Development Grant. ($46,100). Lead applicant: Caxaj, C. S. Co-applicants: Amy Cohen (Okanagan College). Collaborators: Bonar Buffam (UBC), Luis Diaz (Radical Action with Migrants in Agriculture), Sarah Marsden (Thompson Rivers University)
  • A Community-Based Intervention to Support Belonging Among the South Similkameen Indian -Canadian Diaspora. 2015 – 2016. Vancouver Foundation Field Interest Grant. ($9,985). Lead Researcher: Caxaj, C. S. Organization co-applicants: South Okanagan Immigrant Community Services Society, Lower Similkameen Community Services Society. Co-applicants: Chau, S., Gill, N. & Dhaliwal, A. (Women’s Organizing Committee)
  • Engaging Community Partners and Service Leaders Towards a Palliative Approach for Rural First Nations Communities. 2015 – 2016. CIHR Planning and Dissemination. ($11,986). Principal Investigator: Caxaj, C. S. Co-Is: Pesut, B., Lou-Kelly, M., Prince, H. & Bourassa, C.
  • Population and Public Health Reducing Health Inequities: The Contribution of Core Public Health Services in BC. 2015 – 2017. CIHR (2,000,000) Co-Principal Investigators: Marjorie MacDonald & Trevor Hancock Co-Is: Caxaj, C.S. et. al, Interior Health Co-Lead
  • Creating a Research Team to Address Mental Health for Older Adults in Rural Communities in South Central British Columbia 2015 – 2016. CIHR Planning and Dissemination Grant. ($10,000.00) Principal Investigator: Dr. Nelly Oelke Co-Is: Ardiles, P. , Brown, B., Caxaj, C. S., Larson, J. & Szostak, C.
  • Experiences of Social Cohesion, Cross-cultural Understanding as Indicators of Community-wide Mental Health Promotion. 2013 – 2014. Rural Health Services Research Network Team Building Award. ($5,000.00). Principal Investigator: Caxaj, C. S. Co-Is: Chau, S., McDonald, M., Pauly, B., Clark, N., Jakubec, S., O’Mahony, J., Damoon, R. & Leipert, B.

Internal Funding

  • Queer(y)ing Campus Space: Experiences of Queer, Indigenous, and/or Students or Colour at UBCO. 2013 – 2016. Hampton Endowment Fund. ($23,740). Principal Investigator: Caxaj, C. S. Co-Is: Lee, R., Parkins, I. & Chau, S.
  • Peer-driven Indigenous, racialized, and/or queer youth capacity-building: A Symposium and Student/youth mentorship project 2014. Equity and Enhancement Fund ($4,500). Project Lead: Caxaj, C. S. Collaborators: Chau, S., Lee, R. & Park, I.
  • Learning from Indigenous Communities Facing Large-Scale Projects. Towards Global Understandings of Development and Self-Determination. 2013 – 2014. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Institutional Grant. ($5000.00). Principal Investigator: Caxaj, C. S.

Student Trainee Awards

  • Canadian Vanier Graduate Scholarship - $150,000, 2010 – 2013: Funded doctoral education and research activities
  • Fund for Global Human Rights - $30,000, 2012: Funded knowledge translation project arising from dissertation
  • April 2010: Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) - $10,000, Declined for Canadian Vanier CIHR scholarship
  • September 2008: Joseph and Vera Byrne 125th Anniversary Alumni Award - $4,000 Graduate award in nursing for highest academic achievement University of Western Ontario, Canada
  • Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2011: Faculty of Health Science Graduate Student Conference Travel Award - $500 University of Western Ontario, Canada

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