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INMED faculty Nicole Redvers wins national 2021 Sustainability Award

Award from Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education recognizes Redvers’ research

Nicole Redvers

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has named Nicole Redvers, assistant professor in the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) Department of Family & Community Medicine and Indians Into Medicine (INMED) program, winner of the 2021 AASHE Sustainability Award in the campus sustainability research category, recognizing outstanding scholarship in higher education.

The AASHE Sustainability Awards provide global recognition to the individuals and organizations leading the higher education sustainability movement. With the help of volunteer judges, this program raises the visibility of high-impact projects, research, and student leadership that helps to disseminate innovations and inspire continued progress toward environmental, social, and economic health.

“I am truly honored by AASHE’s recognition of our work advocating Indigenous voices from around the world on this important topic,” said Redvers. “Indigenous Nations have much to offer the world as we work towards greater health and wellness for individuals, communities, and the planet. As winner this award, I hope we can continue to amplify the work of Indigenous scholars in higher education working toward a sustainable future for us all.”

The individuals and institutions recognized as finalists were selected based on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder involvement, clarity of purpose, and other criteria specific to each award category. Winners for this and other AASHE award categories were named and celebrated during a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021.

Redvers was named a finalist for the award in part for research she published in the journal Medical Teacher under the title “Indigenous perspectives on education for sustainable healthcare.”

This paper “discusses the urgent need in the health professions education community to prioritize environmentally sustainable healthcare practice, and argues that it must include and prioritize Indigenous voices and Indigenous knowledge systems,” the AASHE website summarizes.

As Redvers and her co-authors note in the article, the developers of sustainable healthcare education principles must reflect on the “epistemological difference” between Indigenous and Western systems of thought as they construct systems of healthcare and health education. The authors go on to suggest that “environmental sustainability measures need to directly acknowledge and prioritize traditional systems of knowing while including safe decolonizing spaces for learning premised on equity and allyship through an Indigenous planetary health lens.”

Redvers added that she is “proud of UND SMHS” for all it has done for Indigenous health and education, and for being recognized for its “outstanding support of Indigenous health scholars.”

Click here to learn more about AASHE’s Sustainability Award winners.