Jessica Barudin


Assistant Professor

Jessica Barudin is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Community Planning in the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC. Jessica is Kwakwaka’wakw and a member and elected leader of the ‘Namgis First Nation.She believes in a values-driven, relationship-centered approach to community planning. Jessica is especially interested in supporting community-led processes with Indigenous communities that center on language revitalization pathways as well as holistic approaches to wellness.  As a mother, Kwak’wala language learner, and community wellness practitioner, she is dedicated to upholding traditional teachings and values while learning Kwak’wala alongside her two daughters in their home community of Alert Bay. 

Jessica earned their PhD in Individualized Studies at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec. Her dissertation, “Braiding Knowledge through Breath, Language, and Movement” examines the process of co-creating and implementing a culturally-responsive, trauma-informed community wellness program with Kwakwaka’wakw and other First Nations women. Her work promotes movement, contemplative practices, and connection to spirit. During the research-creation phase, Jessica directed, wrote, and produced a short knowledge translation documentary film “Braiding Knowledge: connecting through breath, language, and movement” - Link to trailer here

Since 2013, Jessica has been actively involved with delivering community wellness-centered programming and consulting for Indigenous communities and organizations. She is the co-creator of the First Nations Women's Yoga initiative, a unique training for diverse First Nations women and two-spirit peoples that offers an 80-hour trauma-informed, culturally rooted yoga curriculum. As her research and community-centered work has evolved, Jessica is a founding member of the Indigenous Yoga Collective, a grassroots initiative that aims to nurture the development and well-being of Indigenous yoga teachers and educators.

Jessica Barudin has a diverse track record of building and leading innovative programs, which include the creation of an Indigenous health and science education strategy to developing an integration strategy to stand up Traditional Wellness practitioners and modalities in primary care. Her personal research interests lie at the intersection of planning and Indigenous health, trauma theory and embodied practices, and restoring traditional knowledge systems across generations, and cultures, as well as beyond our more than human relatives.

Other areas of Jessica’s research interests include the empowerment and roles of women, who are the backbone of community planning, wellness, and governance, both historically and contemporarily. She aims to explore how empowering roles of women may promote positive shifts in land stewardship, cultural transmission, and the futurities of their respective Nations.

Research interests

  • Indigenous health and well-being, healing practices
  • Community wellness planning and land-based learning
  • Yoga, mindfulness, contemplative practices
  • Indigenous feminisms
  • Indigenous language revitalization
  • Indigenous research methodologies, pedagogies, and traditional knowledge systems
  • Trauma recovery, trauma-informed and anti-oppressive practices
  • Indigenous public health, health education, and decolonial healthcare
Indigenous woman on beach holding object made of bird's wing

Research and Specialties

  • EDI perspectives and practice
  • Feminism
  • Health
  • Indigenous Planning



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