Dr. Charlotte Loppie is from Nova Scotia, born to Mi’Kmaq and French-Canadian parents. Families in their area have been there a long time and have very deep-rooted connections in their community. Her parents were self-made – her dad went to work in the bush, logging at 11 years old (he was paid in cigarettes). Her mother worked at Dalhousie University in the kitchen. Charlotte herself started working at about 5 years of age with chores and farming. It is through connecting with the people from that hard-working community that formed Dr. Loppies unique understanding of leadership .
Loppie’s work focuses primarily on Indigenous health inequities, Indigenous HIV/AIDS, and the social determinants of Indigenous health. She’s committed to patient-oriented research, which she reframes as something that is done by, for and with the people with lived experience who are the focus of the research. Her work is focused on prevention and addressing infections while trying to stay healthy. It is meant to inform government policies on keeping people safe, e.g., seat belt legislation, smoking laws, etc.
2020 VCLA Winner in Healthy & Wellness category. Dr. Charlotte Loppie, Professor @ University of Victoria in Public Health & Social Policy
In indigenous health, everything is seen through a holistic lens. During Covid-19, as with others, she feels the need to view this holistically. The lack of close contact that people are experiencing affects mental health but also physical health for lots of people. She attributes much of her learning the indigenous health policy area, to mentors such as Albert Marshall, who taught her the concept of “two eyes seeing” which really means to look both with the indigenous eye and with the western eye. This has been invaluable to her learning and teaching.
To Charlotte, "leadership is a service to others." It's that simple.
She is hopeful that people will come out of the current pandemic as a better society and a better people. She is grateful for mentorship she has received from the community and wants to shout out to everyone for their help and wish everyone happy families and health.
Charlotte is a professor, and director of the Centre for Indigenous Research and Community-Led Engagement at the University of Victoria and was recently named a member of the Royal Society of Canada. At this time, Charlotte is working for home and conducting classes and meetings through virtual media.
By Caroline Hudson and Chandrima Mazumdar, two of our incredible Leadership Victoria volunteers.