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The Firelight Group

Rachel Olson, PhD

PhD Social Anthropology

Team Co-Lead: Indigenous Knowledge Research

Team Lead: Health


Office Phone: (778) 851-0264

Cell Phone: (778) 686-4547

Location: Xwmélch’tstn, West Vancouver Office


Rachel (she/her) is a citizen of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation from the Yukon territory. She has been a researcher in First Nation communities since 1998, working on various projects from oral history, traditional land use and natural resource management, to First Nations health issues. She has a Master of Research in Social Anthropology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. In May 2013, Rachel completed a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Sussex, looking at the politics of midwifery care and childbirth in Manitoba First Nations communities.

Rachel has worked as a consultant for the LINKS (Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems) program at UNESCO in Paris, France and at the First Nations Centre at the National Aboriginal Health Organization on their maternal care file. She works closely with the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM) as a researcher and writer for their Aboriginal Health and Human Resource Initiative projects.

At Firelight, Rachel is a technical lead of the Indigenous Knowledge Research (IKR) team, and the lead on Health-related projects. She has authored numerous Traditional Knowledge (TK) / Traditional Land Use (TLU) reports for First Nation communities in BC, Alberta, and the NWT. Her work has focused on knowledge and use in relation to a number of different industries including: pipelines, wind farms, and mining. She has also testified at environmental review board hearings on Firelight IKR methods, analysis, and assessment.