Rosalin Miles

Dr. Rosalin Miles, MHK 1998, Research Associate, Indigenous Studies in UBC School of Kinesiology.

Dr. Rosalin Miles models traditional Indigenous practices of health and wellbeing for herself, her family, her students and her community. She states, “The pandemic can provide us with opportunities to promote spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health and wellness. Even though there is a need for social distancing, this pandemic has brought people together.”

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It has been a very stressful time for many UBC students to adjust to the changes that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Rosalin Miles of the Indigenous Studies in Kinesiology (ISK) program has been reaching out to share resources and support to the many ISK students and community members by phone, zoom, and skype. “Thankfully,” says Dr. Miles, “the ISK was set up for students to take courses online; however, the community experiential learning components of the program have come to a screeching halt. In this regard, it has been more challenging to support each student.” Dr. Miles states, “I hope that they can find perseverance within their circle of support of family and friends.”

During this challenging time, Dr. Miles advocates for the importance of practicing holistic health and wellness. For spiritual health and wellness, she is providing support to Elders and community members through phone calls, Facetime and messaging. Through these relationships she is able to practice prayer and connections with her community which, in turn, reinforces gratitude and resilience.

For emotional holistic health and wellness support, Dr. Miles has turned to her own family. She lives with her husband and their five-year-old daughter on the traditional territory of the Musqueam people – on the reserve adjacent to the UBC Vancouver campus. As a safety measure, the Musqueam community has placed blockades on the main roads entering the community during the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure that there is protection for their community from the virus, and to promote social distancing on the roads.

Once the ISK research laboratory was closed down and her daughter’s school was halted, Rosalin reached out to her mother for support who moved in with her family to help provide home-schooling for her granddaughter. Rosalin reflects, “I feel extremely fortunate to have my mother here for my daughter, as this also allows me to continue to work from home.” She and her mother maintain a practice of gratitude each day which she says, reinforces her own role as a mother and allows her to acknowledge the values she has created; those of fostering unconditional love and support.

Dr. Miles is a registered Kinesiologist who knows the value of being physically active for holistic health and wellness. Each day, when her young daughter has completed homeschool lessons, Dr. Miles is physically active with her daughter to ensure they both feel grounded, whether it be playing in the backyard, going for a bike ride – or playing with their new puppy! Being active together supports their relationship in a fun way where they can both build on their connection together.

Dr. Miles also works with her community and volunteers on the Lytton First Nation Finance committee. She has been able to support them by writing emergency response policies and providing other needed supports. She will be driving to Lytton to deliver emergency supplies and much-needed seeds to support community farming. Aware of the dangers of driving into a rural community, Dr. Miles will leave all items she brings up to Lytton in a garage for 3 days, wipe them down, and maintain social distancing.

It has been difficult not to visit with her Musqueam neighbours but she states, “I know that the social distancing is mandatory. Should COVID-19 ever manifest in the community it would be catastrophic for the Elders and for the valuable knowledge and contributions they hold for the community.”

Dr. Rosalin Miles is a member of Lytton First Nation and works within the UBC Indigenous Studies in Kinesiology program as a Research Associate.