Chelsea Gabel’s research explores the challenges faced by Indigenous peoples, particularly Indigenous elders and youth that are influenced by changes to traditional Indigenous knowledge and other interconnected health, social, economic, and political processes. Chelsea’s research is typically conducted in partnership with leaders in the community that she s working with. Her community partners help define project research questions, and in turn, the research helps to address issues that they are working with in daily practice.
Traditional interactions among Indigenous elders and youth have been disrupted both by the devastating effects of colonization and residential schools. Working in partnership with Indigenous communities across Canada, Chelsea’s research addresses some of these concerns by considering ways to increase elder-youth relationships and revitalize values related to interactions between different generations.
Chelsea's research examines how digital technology can be used to leverage and advocate for specific policy and program initiatives in First Nations, Inuit and Méjtis communities. She draws on photovoice, digital storytelling, e-democracy portals and other arts-based technology and advocacy tools as a means of restoring these relationships. Chelsea works with Indigenous elders and youth to assess how such tools can be used to document, articulate and redress issues related to changes in traditional Indigenous culture.
Overseeing two Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) grants as the primary investigator, Chelsea builds on Indigenous and Western ways of knowing and conducting research to address health and well-being in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities across many generations. She balances academic rigour with a heartfelt desire to ask the kinds of questions that lead to positive social change through public policy.