Photo by Ooleesia

I am incredibly grateful to the women who participated in this project. I feel deeply privileged to have worked with such strong, courageous, dedicated, and passionate people. Each of you has made a lasting impact on my life.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Dr. Sarah de Leeuw as my thesis supervisor. This project was challenging for me on many levels, and Sarah was there to support and encourage me through each stage. I was lucky to work with two additional wonderful women and scholars on my thesis committee. Thank you, Dr. Margot Parkes and Dr. Candida Graham, for your time, thoughtful input, and diverse perspectives that have so enriched this project.

I am grateful for the support and assistance from several local community organizations. Thank you for meeting with me to discuss my project and share knowledge of the city and of the topic, and for assisting with recruitment, and in particular the Elizabeth Fry Society, the Phoenix Transition House, and the Native Friendship Centre for providing meeting and interview space. The support I received from the community truly helped make this project a reality.

I also want to thank Dr. Niel Hanlon, who assisted with my preliminary data analysis by working with me on a directed studies course. Thank you to Andreas Hans, who gave a photography workshop to the group at the beginning of the project, and to Briar Craig for his advice on producing and setting up the ArtSpace exhibit. Many thanks to Jim Brinkman and the great staff at Books & Company for hosting the first exhibition and to Bill at WD West Studios who did such a quality job of printing the beautiful images for both exhibitions. I greatly appreciate the hospitality of the Rotunda Gallery and the UNBC Arts Council for hosting the exhibition in January 2013 and for funds to print additional enlargements.

I gratefully acknowledge funding from UNBC (Graduate Entrance Scholarships, Graduate Research Project Award, and Graduate Travel Award) and fellowship funding from the Intersections of Mental Health Perspectives in Addictions Research Training (IMPART), a program funded by CIHR.

Thank you Alana for all your support and encouragement and for helping me through some marathon thesis-writing weekends. And finally, thank you to my mom Judy and my sister Jessica. Your mentoring, support, and stable presence in my life continue to be invaluable sources of strength.