The Victoria Forum 2024
The Victoria Forum 2024 - Building Trust for a Shared Future

Mathew Fleury (he/his) is a bilingual (English and French) Indigenous Social Worker, community-based researcher, and public health professional. Mathew is nēhiyawak (Plains Cree), and as a proud member of one of the founding families of the Métis Nation, he has deep roots in the Red River Valley of Manitoba. Throughout his work, he draws from his lived, academic, and professional experiences in advancing grassroots approaches within research and policy. Mathew is passionate about issues impacting Indigenous Peoples, including harm reduction, mental health, and accessibility. He has also continued to promote the inclusion of those who, like him, have faced marginalization. With lived and living experiences and as a queer Two-Spirited individual, Mathew occupies the intersection between innovative advocacy, meaningful community engagement, and transformative legislation. His unwavering passion for human rights and culture has earned him a new name, proffered by Elders in his community: Gimewan Niimi (Rain Dancer). Buoyed by a vision for inclusive and impactful experiences that find ground in the teachings of the Cree and Michif peoples, Mathew seeks to continue to stand as a paragon of diversity and resilience, sowing the seeds of Indigenization, resurgence, and decolonization for generations to come.

Following studies in Psychology at Queen’s University, Mathew graduated from Laurentian University’s Indigenous Social Work program. He is completing studies at the Edinburgh Medical School: Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences, alongside the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Population Health Research and Training. Mathew was previously the Housing Manager for the Culturally Supportive House with the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness. Here, he actively contributed to developing one of Canada’s first Indigenous Alcohol Harm Reduction programs. Moreover, he has experience in research and project coordination, management, academic support and grant writing in academic institutions, the Canada Research Chairs Program, and beyond. In 2019, Mathew was named a 3M National Student Fellow by 3M Canada, and that same year, he was recognized as a Youth Accessibility Leader by the Government of Canada. For these accomplishments, among others, Mathew has become highly sought after during his 9+ years of experience across research and human service delivery systems due to his strong background in trauma-informed approaches, anti-racism, and cultural safety and humility. In 2021, he was promoted from the Indigenous Harm Reduction Community Coordinator at the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) to Manager, Research and Knowledge Exchange. In addition, Mathew is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University.

Areas of Expertise: Disability Studies; Accessibility; 2SLGBTQIA+ Health; Métis-specific Health; Social Determinants of Health among Indigenous Populations; Substance Use and Harm Reduction; COVID-19 and Indigenous Communities; Indigenous Public Health Sovereignty; Equity, Diversity, and Human Rights; Autism; ADHD; Community Health/Public Health; Health Promotion; Identity Building; Indigenous Health and Wellbeing; Mental Health and Society; Community-Based Participatory Research; Social Determinants of Health; Social Determinants of Infectious and Immune-Mediated Diseases; Indigenous Homelessness; Anti-Racism, and Cultural Safety and Humility; and, HIV/AIDS and STBBI Community-Based Research.

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