Department of Gender Studies

Department of Gender Studies
Department of Gender Studies
Karen Lawford

Karen Lawford

Assistant Professor in Gender Studies

PhD (Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies), University of Ottawa
MA (Institute of Women's Studies), University of Ottawa
BHSc with distinction (Midwifery), McMaster University
BSc Honours (Chemistry and Environmental Resource Science)

Office: Mackintosh-Corry Hall, D518
Phone: 613-533-6000 ext.75079
Research interests: Maternity care on reserves, Medical evacuation, Midwifery, Indigenous feminist theories and methodologies, Indigenous women and Two Spirit Leadership, Indigenous health and wellness, Health care
Affiliations: Queen's Cultural Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Program; Adjust Research Professor position with the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University

Dr. Lawford is an Aboriginal midwife (Namegosibiing (Lac Seul First Nation, Treaty 3) and a Registered midwife (Ontario). Her research focuses on the provision of maternity care for those who live on reserve and understanding the barriers to equitable reproductive health services. Currently, she is a Co-Investigator on a Status of Women Canada research project, entitled Empowering women leaders in health: Health care, health sciences, & Indigenous health. Dr. Lawford is the lead on Indigenous health and purposefully draws attention to Indigenous women and Two Spirit leaders in health.

Peer Reviewed Publications

Campbell, E., Austin, A., Ariss, E., Bax-Campbell, M., Auton, S., Carkner, E., Cruz, G., Hawes, A., O’Brien, K., Rizk, N., Toop, E., Brickenden, L., and Lawford, K.M. (2020). Indigenous relationality and kinship and the professionalization of a health workforce. Turtle Island Journal of Indigenous Health, 1(1).

Lawford, K.M., Bourgeault, I.L., & Giles, A.R. (2019). “This policy sucks and it’s stupid:” Mapping maternity care for First Nations women on reserves in Manitoba, Canada. Health Care for Women International, 40(12), 1302-1335. doi: 10.1080/07399332.2019.1639706

Bourgeault, I.L., James, Y., Lawford, K., & Lundine, J. (2018). Empowering women leaders in health: A gap analysis of the state of the knowledge. Canadian Journal of Physician Leadership, 5(2), 92-99.

Nelson, C.R., Lawford, K.M., Darling, E.K., & Otterman, V. (July/August 2018). Mental health indicators among pregnant Aboriginal women in Canada: Results from the Maternity Experiences Survey. Health  Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada, 38(7/8), 269-276.

Darling, L., Lawford, K., Wilson, K., Kryzanauskas, K., & Bourgeault, I. (2018). Distance from homebirth to emergency obstetrical services and neonatal outcomes: A cohort study. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health (accepted and forthcoming)

Lawford, K.M., Giles, A.R., & Bourgeault, I.L. (2018). Canada's evacuation policy for pregnant First Nations women: Resignation, resilience, and resistance. Women and Birth.

Lawford, K., & Giles, A.R. (2016). Kivalliq Inuit Centre boarding home and the provision of prenatal education. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 75, 32213.

Lawford, K. (2016). Locating invisible policies: Health Canada’s evacuation policy as a case study. Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice, 37, 2(2), 147-160.

Lawford, K., & Giles, A.R. (2012). Marginalization and coercion: Canada’s evacuation policy for pregnant First Nations women who live on reserves in rural and remote regions. Pimatisiwin, 10(3), 327-340.

Lawford, K., & Giles, A.R. (2012). An analysis of the evacuation policy for pregnant First Nations women in Canada. AlterNative, 8(3), 329-342.

Smylie, J., Fell, D., Ohlsson, A., & the Joint Working Group on First Nations, Indian, Inuit, and Métis Infant Mortality of the Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System (2010). A review of Aboriginal infant mortality rates in Canada: Striking and persistent Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal inequities. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 101, 143-148.

Book Chapter

Lafontaine, A., Lidstone, C., & Lawford, K. (2020). Seeing with two eyes: Indigenous leadership and the LEADS framework. In G. Dickson & B. Tholl (Eds.), Bringing leadership in health to life: Putting LEADS to work (pp. 279-298). Springer.

Additional Publications and Contributions

Research, ethnic fraud, and the academy: A protocol for working with Indigenous communities and Peoples.
Submitted to: Yellowhead Institute
Submitted by: Karen Lawford, PhD (Queen’s University) and Veldon Coburn, PhD (University of Ottawa)
Date: August 20, 2019

Lawford, K., & Lundine, J. (2019, May 27). Canada’s efforts at boosting inclusivity will not fly: The adoption of an Athena SWAN-style initiative is undermined by a failure to meaningful consult Indigenous Peoples, say Karen Lawford and Jamie Lundine. Times Higher Learning.

Pambrun, N., Lawford, K., & Couchie, C. (2019). Indigenous midwifery in Canada: An example of healthy relationships. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 41(2), pp S259-S262. doi

Lundine, J., Lawford, K., & James, Y. (2019, March 8). The gender balancing act. BMC Blog Network. 

Royal University Hospital Employees coercing and forcing Indigenous women to have tubal ligations.
Submitted to: Saskatoon Health Region, Government of Saskatchewan, Government of Canada
Submitted by: Holly A. McKenzie, PhD(c) (UBC), Melika Popp, Jillian Arkles Schwandt (Sexual Health Centre Saskatoon), Karen Olsen Lawford, PhD(c) (University of Ottawa), and Colleen Varcoe PhD, RN, Professor (UBC).
Date: September 21, 2016

First Nations breastfeeding and Health Canada’s evacuation policy.
Submitted to: INFACT Canada
Submitted by: Karen Lawford
Date: October 27, 2016