Mapping Out Indigenous and Racialized Critical Community-Based Perspectives and Experiences in the Time of COVID


  • Maryam Khan Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Giselle Dias Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Amanda Thompson Wilfrid Laurier University



COVID, Indigenous, communities of belonging, mental health, racialized.


The COVID-19 pandemic has had many implications for the lives, health, and well-being of Indigenous and racialized queer individuals and communities across the globe. In this article, three queer social workers (two Indigenous and one racialized-settler), situated on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabek, and Neutral/Attawandaron people discuss lived experiences of social isolation, and mental health, while navigating work, education, and moments of resilience, in their communities of belonging. Through a circle process, they discuss the implications of social isolation for queer, Indigenous and racialized-settler individuals  in the context of shifting notions of community due to the pandemic. The authors engage with unique intersectional social work standpoints that are steeped in Indigenous-centred, critically reflexive, queer, intersectional feminist, and relational approaches that highlight the politics of care, relational accountability, and relationship with Creation and ethics during COVID-19.  The article concludes with recommendations for social work practice with Indigenous and racialized queer communities.

Author Biographies

Maryam Khan, Wilfrid Laurier University

Maryam (She/her/they/them) identifies as a racialized South Asian queer Muslim woman. She has 10+ years of clinical, community-based, and activist experiences working with diverse individuals, families, and communities in mental health, addictions, VAW and LGBTQ2+ social and health care settings. Maryam is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University

Giselle Dias, Wilfrid Laurier University

Giselle Dias, MSW, RSW. I am a queer, mixed race, Métis community organizer, activist, and scholar. I often say that my ancestors travelled the globe to ensure my presence in the world. My grandparents traveled from India, Seychelle Islands, England, Ireland and across Turtle Island. I am in the third year of the PhD program at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Faculty of Social Work, Indigenous Field of Study (IFS) and the Program Coordinator at the Centre for Indigegogy.

Amanda Thompson, Wilfrid Laurier University

Amanda Thompson (BA, MSW). I am a queer, mixed Ojibway and settler scholar, Mama, community builder, and partner.  I am a member of Flying Post First Nation and love learning from the land and in community spaces.  I’ve been fortunate to have 10-plus years working alongside and supporting Indigenous students, community, and LGBTQ2S communities in Toronto.  I am currently in my third year of the PhD program at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Faculty of Social Work, Indigenous Field of Study (IFS).






Voices from the Trenches