About the Carolynne Boivin scholarship for research in family or gender-based violence

Colleagues and board members of RESOLVE have acknowledged Carolynne Boivin's contribution to the development of their network through the establishment of a fund at the University of Manitoba. Each year, the available annual income from the fund is used to offer one or more scholarships valued at a minimum of $4,000 each to graduate students who:

  1. are enrolled full-time in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Manitoba;
  2. have achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.0 based on the last 60 credit hours (or equivalent) of study; and
  3. are conducting research in the area of family or gender-based violence.

In any given year, at least one of the scholarships will be awarded with first preference going to a student who has self-declared as a First Nations, Métis, or Inuit from Canada, and second preference to a student who is conducting Indigenous-focused research. The competition for the scholarships is advertised each year by RESOLVE, and applicants are required to submit a brief description (maximum 500 words) of their graduate research.

*Application intake for 2024 is now closed.

Current scholarship recipients


Erin Sinclair (Department of Psychology)

Research Project: Grounding Knowledge in Dibaajimowinan: Indigenous Storytelling Increases Critical Historical Knowledge About Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited Peoples

Research Summary: In 2019, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released 231 Calls for Justice, which aimed to raise awareness and tell the story of the acts of violence toward Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirited peoples in Canada. The National Inquiry report called upon post-secondary institutions to educate and provide awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people (NIMMIWG, 2019).

Learn more about Erin Sinclair's research

Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be murdered or missing than any other woman in Canada (NIMMIWG, 2019; Statistics Canada, 2023). Statistics cannot represent, however, what families and communities experience when a loved one is lost through such violence (NIMMIWG, 2019). Thus, the perspectives and participation of Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited peoples with lived experiences, including their families, must be amplified to bring awareness and educate non-Indigenous Canadians to address this epidemic that is grounded in Canada’s colonial past.

A method of education not widely studied in social psychology is the use of Indigenous storytelling. Storytelling acts as a repository of Indigenous knowledge, creates a memorable method of knowledge translation for listeners, and aligns with Indigenous worldviews, traditional knowledge and epistemologies (Cariou, 2022; Datta, 2018). The objectives of this study are to (1) develop an understanding of how education through Indigenous storytelling impacts the way non-Indigenous Canadians think about issues that are of importance to Indigenous communities and (2) raise awareness and increase knowledge about the previous and ongoing harm toward Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited Peoples (MMIWG2S+).


Kennedy Link (Faculty of Psychology)

Research Project: How Can We Engage Couples in Change? Exploring Experiences in Couples Therapy After Intimate Partner Violence

Research Summary: The purpose of the present study is to contribute to knowledge about couples who stay together after experiencing violence/abuse in their relationship by examining how these couples experience and engage in couples treatment after intimate partner violence (IPV). This qualitative study will use a narrative approach to better understand experiences at the individual and couple levels.

Learn more about Kennedy Link's research

How couples make meaning of services in the context of their relationship dynamics will also be explored. Further, this research will examine individual, relational, and external factors that play a role in treatment engagement and the process of change after violence. Using a feminist intersectionality framework will allow for a consideration of how various identities intersect to create experience. An analysis of power will consider how interpersonal and structural power imbalances play a role in the relationship and individual experiences. This research will address an understudied population and further knowledge of these relationships, which is essential for developing effective intervention and prevention responses that increase safety.


Amy Anne Smith (Faculty of Social Work) 

Research Project: The Impacts of Trial Delay on Sexual Assault Survivors

Research Summary: Amy's research focuses on survivors of sexual assault who are engaging with the justice system and are experiencing delays in this process. Amy has seen the conditions that survivors are facing and knows that this work is both vital and urgent because, while delays appear to be common, their effects on both the justice process and on survivors are completely absent in current literature.

Learn more about Amy Smith's research

Amy's work will be a mixed methods project that combines Manitoba court data and a case study that focuses on the voices and experiences of survivors. Ultimately, she hope's that the recommendations emerging from this study will inform future policy decisions targeting the excessive use of delay as a means of discouraging sexual assault survivors from obtaining justice through the legal process.

Past recipients of the Carolynne Boivin scholarship for research in family or gender-based violence

2023 scholarship recipients

Mimi Shamin Brown (Faculty of Social Work)

Thesis Research: Understanding the wellness and health of lived experience (WHOLE) Staff: What works for what hurts and what’s missing?

Research Summary: Understanding the wellness and health of lived experience (WHOLE) Staff: What works for what hurts and what’s missing? will respond to the gaps in Canadian research on lived experience staff in the child sexual abuse (CSA) sector. Lived experience staff with a history of CSA experience increased vulnerability to indirect trauma. 

A trauma-informed approach to improving organizational services and support for staff is critical to supporting their wellness and, in turn, improving staff retention and relational continuity between staff and client (Blanch et al., 2012; Goodwin & Patton, 2009; Frey et al., 2017; Phillips et al., 2015; Pirelli et al. 2020; Sprang et al., 2018).  Adopting a Two-Eyed Seeing approach that combines a Mino-pimatisiwin paradigm with a dual feminist lens informed by Standpoint Feminist Theory and Indigenous Feminist Theory, this study will be a mixed qualitative approach that incorporates an Indigenous methodology based upon Minopimatsiwin epistemology and non-Indigenous approaches to analysis.  

The study aims to answer three overarching questions, 1) "What are the experiences of health and wellness for lived experience leaders?"; 2) “What are the gaps in wellness supports for lived experience staff in the CSA sector?”; and 3) “What personal and professional strategies and resources are effective in supporting the wellness of lived experience staff?” Mimi will explore how wellness is defined, the resources and strategies available to nurture and maintain lived experience leaders’ wellness and the resources that are still needed with the objective of developing an understanding of effective health and wellness strategies and resources that will ensure that lived experience staff in the CSA sector are supported in their work and ongoing recovery. 

This qualitative research will be centred on lived experience voices. Findings and recommendations can be used to guide lived experience staff in managing their own wellness practices as well as support institutions, funders, and other stakeholders in addressing the personal and professional wellness of lived experience staff through greater insight and awareness related to the funding, programming, and organizational support needed to responsibly engage lived experience staff.

Charlene Hallett (Community Health Sciences)

Thesis Research: Rooted in culture: an evaluation of the process to adapt evidence-based programs for Indigenous mothers & children who have experienced intimate partner violence in Canada

Research Summary: This qualitative study will evaluate how adapting a new-to-Canada, pilot intervention program for Indigenous moms and their children impacted by intimate partner violence (IPV) went for those who took part in its adaptation process. Capturing these perspectives from the original creator of the intervention, the researchers involved, and the Elder and staff at the urban crisis shelter hosting the intervention offers 1) a better understanding of how they felt through the process, 2) an opportunity to discuss any successes and challenges they would like to highlight, and 3) the chance to speak to any lasting lessons they learned along the way. It honours their teachings and voices by allowing other communities, organizations, agencies, or researchers - who might want to duplicate (in whole or in part) these or other intervention programs in the future to learn from this group’s adaptation journey and to make changes as needed. Leaving a map of how it can be done is one way research becomes reciprocal with potential benefits for generations to come. 


2022 scholarship recipients

Tammy Nelson (Faculty of Social Work)

Thesis Research: West Standing Bear: Two-Eyed Seeing Approach to Working with Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse 

Research Summary: Utilizing Indigenous research methodologies, the aim of this research will gather the knowledge and wisdom from persons with lived experience, knowledge keepers, academics, and local community organizations to inform the creation of a Two-Eyed Seeing healing model for therapeutic interventions for adults who experienced childhood sexual abuse. The model developed will replace the current clinical model at The Heartwood Healing Centre formerly known as The Laurel Centre located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to ensure trauma-focused services are accessible to all survivors/victims who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. This model will be valuable for community-based organizations across Manitoba with a specific focus on non-Indigenous organizations that provide services to Indigenous Peoples that align with Indigenous world views and traditional knowledge.  

This project will include Indigenous research methodologies to include Two-Eyed Seeing principles that are in line with OCAP, Indigenous practices with research being ceremony and the inclusion of Western traditions connected to community-based participatory action research that aims to address the effects of colonialism worldwide. Using a Two-Eyed Seeing methodology acknowledges Western knowledge systems having dominance over Indigenous people. By incorporating this methodology, it aims to prioritize Indigenous pedagogy with a particular focus on decolonizing programming and service deliverables that directly affect Indigenous peoples. 

Leah McDonell (Faculty of Peace and Conflict Studies)

Thesis Research: A WAY OUT: Human Trafficking of Inuit Women and Girls

Research Summary: Human trafficking is a manifestation of gender-based violence and a global pandemic that Canada is not exempt from. The severe and devastating issues resulting from human trafficking disproportionately affect Indigenous women and girls. Although there are reports on the trafficking of Inuit women and girls in Canada, little research has been conducted with Inuit living in Manitoba (MB) or coming to MB from Nunavut (NU) to access services.

This study is a first attempt to understand human trafficking in MB and its specific impact on Inuit. Knowledge generated will empower the Inuit organizations other allied health service agencies to provide culturally relevant, supportive services for Inuit in MB, filling gaps in services that will support the health and well-being of individuals and families impacted by human trafficking. 

Rachel Antonia Dunsmore (Faculty Sociology & Criminology)

Thesis Research: Best Practices for Strengthening Eldercare: A Policy Review

Research Summary: While aging in place is the preferred option of most members of the public over being institutionalized in later life, abuse and/or neglect of older adults also occurs within families and non-institutional settings. Domestic violence has been exacerbated by public health restrictions, yet domestic or family-based elder abuse is rarely named as a public problem and is likely underreported. Domestic elder abuse occurs in a context of a broader ageist society whereby older adults’ human and citizenship rights are frequently violated, within and outside of long-term care institutions. Despite an aging population, Canadian society is characterized by individualism and high levels of family breakdown whereby reciprocal relations of care are largely unsupported by public policies. There is also inadequate public understanding of the social aspects of aging in a context where aging is predominately understood from an individual, biomedical, or disease-based perspective.

Building on my previous research on long-term institutional care in Canada, the goal of this research is three-fold: First, to review existing literature on best practices regarding community and family-based eldercare. Second, to review eldercare policies in Manitoba and across Canada with a particular focus on community/family-based eldercare. Finally, existing family-based eldercare policies in Manitoba and Canada will then be compared and evaluated with policy approaches to eldercare highlighted in the literature with a particular focus on the security and well-being of older adults. 

2013-2014 scholarship recipients

Alysha Jones (Family Social Science)

Thesis Research: Domestic Violence and Criminal Release Orders: How Much Is Too Much?

Mariah Baldwin (Sociology)

Thesis Research: Exploring a Continuum of Policy Responses to Domestic Homicides in Canada

2021 scholarship recipients

Bolloite Offer (Faculty of Law)

Thesis Research: “Noticing” Intersectionality in Sexual Assault Trials: The Influence of Feminist Organisations on the Barton Decision

Research Summary: In the 2019 case of R v Barton, the Supreme Court of Canada, in what might be considered a ground-breaking decision, judicially noticed the fact that myths, stereotypes and discriminatory practices which operate against sexually assaulted women within the Canadian criminal justice system become compounded when the woman in question is Indigenous and more so, when the Indigenous woman is a sex worker.

Cindy Gladue, a 36-year-old Métis woman and mother of three was found dead in a bathtub, with an 11cm wound to her vaginal wall, following contracted sexual activities with Barton. Occurrences during the trial, like admission of prejudicial sexual history evidence, and references to Miss. Gladue as a “Native prostitute” led to intervening submissions by feminist organisations— an action that has been criticized as unduly interfering with the appeal process.  The objectives of Bolloite’s research are thus to:

  1. examine the extent to which the advocacy of feminist organisations influenced the Barton decision on appeal, as well as the necessity of their intervention; and
  2. project the possible impacts that the decision might have for Indigenous sexual assault complainants, going forward.

The expected conclusions and recommendations Bolloite’s findings, will be crucial in critical assessments of the Barton decision, for lawyers, sexual assault complainants, the justice system and most importantly, Indigenous women, who have for too long, had to deal with multiple layers of discrimination within the Canadian society and the criminal justice system, as a consequence of the intersection between their race and gender.

Lauren Bresch (Sociology and Criminology)

Thesis Research: Who is Responsible? Discourses on Mothering and Protecting Children in Service Provider Responses to Intimate Partner Violence in Manitoba

Research Summary: Lauren Bresch’s research analyzes how service providers in Manitoba make sense of mothering and the responsibility of protecting children in the context of IPV. Prior feminist research has found that the implementation of gender-neutral legislation for family violence and child protection has shifted the focus away from men’s violence and onto women’s ‘failures’ as mothers.

Embedded within dominant discourses surrounding mothers and notions of risk, such policies hold mothers responsible for maintaining a safe home environment for children through controlling, managing, and fleeing men’s violence. If a mother is unable to cease men’s violence from occurring, she can be considered an ‘unfit’ mother subject to losing her child. While these policies aim to protect children from harm, in practice they responsibilize mother-victims of IPV.
Building on these understandings of mothers, Lauren’s research engages in an in-depth critical discourse analysis of key informant interview data collected by the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative to examine what kinds of discourses are evident among service providers’ framing and response to mothers and children who experience IPV and the ways in which notions of risks have permeated service provision for mother and child victims of IPV.

Using an intersectional feminist lens throughout her research, Lauren seeks to expose problematic policies and practices prevalent in responses towards mothers (with a particular focus on responses towards mothers who are single, poor, and racialized) and children who experience IPV and highlight ways forward to create more humane and effective policies that better protect mothers and their children from violence.

2020 scholarship recipients

Desiree Theriault (Faculty of Architecture)

Thesis Research: Red River Women: a memorial for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) alongside Winnipeg’s Red River

Research Summary: For centuries, Indigenous women’s identities have been washed away in the urban realm, crystallizing a normalization and commodity of Indigenous women’s death and violence. Many underlying factors contribute to their victimization, from racism and sexism to spatially oppressive factors such as poverty, homelessness, and the legacy of colonialism. However, much of this marginalization has been perpetuated by the continued silencing of the urge to remember. Desiree’s research argues that memory, remembrance, and placemaking have an essential role in reconciling Indigenous women’s presence in the city.

The National Inquiry report for MMIWG released 231 imperative calls to justice – interestingly, none of these calls addressed spatial memorialization as a factor of justice. Yet here in Winnipeg, MMIWG, memory and crime have a strong spatial link to the Red River - a condition that has yet to be addressed to honor and remember those who have been murdered or went missing. Desiree’s practicum examines the role of landscape architecture in responding to gender-based violence through spatial-justice and memorialization. The work involves a sensitive analysis and mapping of the locations of the missing and murdered to synthesize areas of re-occurring crime and threatening public space. Furthermore, the practicum investigates relevant Indigenous ontologies of bereavement, ceremonial practices, and healing journeys to inform culturally appropriate spatial conditions for memorialization. Together, these spatial conditions begin to manifest a landscape memorial, which Desiree believes is an intrinsic part of transitional justice and social reconstruction for the dignity of Indigenous women across Canada.

Renée Hoffart (Faculty of Sociology & Criminology)

Thesis Research: Keeping Women Safe? Assessing the Impact of Risk Discourse on the Societal Response to Intimate Partner Violence

Research Summary: Renée Hoffart’s dissertation research examines how responses to intimate partner violence have changed overtime. In the 1970s, violence against women came to be recognized as an important social issue due to the efforts of the Violence Against Women (VAW) Movement. A women-centered approach that emphasized women’s perspectives and experiences was central to this initial response to violence against women. More recently, the advent of neoliberalism and an accompanying risk discourse have marked a notable shift toward more positivistic, quantitative approaches to identify “risk” and manage social problems, including violence against women.

This research is guided by one primary research question: What is the impact of the advent of risk discourse on the original goals of the Violence Against Women (VAW) Movement in relation to addressing intimate partner violence (IPV)? To address this question, Renée Hoffart had engaged in an in-depth analysis of key informant interview data collected by the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative to examine current understandings of risk in the criminal justice system and social service delivery, and the ways in which risk discourse shapes the response to victims and survivors of IPV with a view to determining the implications of this shift toward risk for responding to IPV, especially in relation to ensuring the safety of victims and survivors.

This research is conducted from a critical feminist perspective that interrogates current social and systemic approaches toward intimate partner violence. An intersectional lens is also applied throughout Renée’s dissertation to understand the ways in which women’s experiences are being homogenized under the current risk-based framework of responding to intimate partner violence.

Amanda Smith (Master of Social Work based in Indigenous Knowledges Program)

Research Summary: Indigenous women are considered the heart of the community they represent the sacred fire which is set in the center of the community. Indigenous women are the first caregivers and teachers. Indigenous women of all generations have been subjected to horrendous oppressions at the hands of colonial tactics. In this modern era the effects of settler colonialism can be seen in the vast numbers of Indigenous children involved in Child Family Services, the Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited, and involvement with the justice system, all of which interrupt Indigenous women’s well-being.

Amanda Smith’s research focuses on Indigenous women’s experiences with violence, both historical and contemporary, and cumulative trauma. Amanda is interested in understanding how Indigenous women heal, more specifically how grandmothers, mothers and daughters can heal together. The women involved in this study will have experience with intergenerational healing modalities. The research that is proposed will provide an opportunity for Indigenous women living in Manitoba to identify, recognize and address how colonialism has contributed to the violence they, and their ancestors experienced within their families, communities, and the broader society. The goal of this research is to understand how Indigenous women and girls can overcome the internalized oppression and remember themselves as beautiful, sacred, and powerful life givers. The women will reflect on their experiences through journaling, talking circles, interviews and ceremony to share the outcomes of their healing. This research will inform healing interventions specific to Indigenous women, and girls that will promote a positive impact on intergenerational relationships within families and communities.

2019 scholarship recipients

Tammy Nelson (Master of Social Work Based in Indigenous Knowledges Program, Faculty of Social Work)

Thesis Research: Mookii Mikinak: Traditional Road to Healing for Indigenous Women Who Experienced Sexual Exploitation

Research Summary: The sexual exploitation of Indigenous women and girls has historical implications from early settler contact in Canada. Indigenous women have been the targets to break down a nation of people and used to build the backbone of Canada through patriarchy policies and laws that continue to oppress and marginalize Indigenous people. They have experienced and continue to experience many forms of abuse, violence, discrimination, and racism because these forms of oppression are deeply rooted in Canada’s colonial structures. Indigenous women and girls are disproportionally over-represented in being sexually exploited as a direct result of these colonial ties.

This year, Tammy conducted research using Indigenous research methodologies where the use of ceremony, traditional Indigenous epistemes were at the heart of this research. The aim of this research project was fourfold: First, to gain insight into how Indigenous ceremonies and teachings contribute to the healing needs of sexually exploited women. Second, in pursuing this question Tammy gained further understanding of the complexities involved in healing for Indigenous women; Third, Tammy explored, in discussion with the women participating in this study, whether they think that ceremonies could play a role in preventing the sexual exploitation of Indigenous women and youth. Fourth, Tammy's goal was that this research would assist in the development of support and therapeutic programming based on traditional Indigenous ceremonies and teachings. By centering traditional Indigenous world views, access to ceremony and culturally reflective programming, Tammy believe's that change can take place, healing can start and for our women to emerge back into the land to find their voice and challenge the systemic barriers that have been in place that kept them voiceless for centuries.

Margherita Cameranesi (Applied Health Sciences)

Thesis Research: Resilience Processes in Children and Adolescents Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV): A Convergent Parallel Mixed Methods Study

2018 scholarship recipients

Virginia Pateman (Master of Social Work)

Thesis Research: Indigenous Youth Suicide: Indigenous Knowledge Holders Pathways to Mental/Spiritual Health

Nellie Murdock (Master of Social Work)

Thesis Research: Does Participation in Traditional Indigenous Ceremony Promote Positive Life Style Choices?

Jeanette Brazeau (Master of Social Work)

Thesis Research: Indigenous Youth Suicide: Indigenous Knowledge Holders Pathways to Mental/Spiritual Health

2017 scholarship recipients

Jeanette Brazeau (Master of Social Work)

Thesis Research: Impact of family violence on Indigenous Adolescents

2016 scholarship recipients

Jahna Hardy (Master of Social Work)

Thesis Research: Child Welfare Policies and Domestic Violence

Richelle Ready (Master of Social Work)

Thesis Research: The Criminal Justice Processing of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Olivia Peters (Sociology)

Thesis Research: Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention for Vulnerable Populations

2015 scholarship recipients

Nicole Leeson (Sociology)

Thesis Research: Intimate Partner Violence

Jacob Simoens (Sociology)

Thesis Research: Treatment programs for males with abusive behavior

Miriam Gonzalez (Faculty of Nursing)

Thesis Research: The Effects of Level 2 Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) on Parental Use of Physical Punishment and Non-Physical Parenting Responses.