Staff of UBC Learning Circle (CfEIH)



Leah Walker,  Associate Director – Education is of Aboriginal, Danish and English ancestry and has strong family ties with Sto:lo Nation at Seabird Island.  Leah is very interested in work that involves community partnerships, cultural safety, and working with medical and other health professionals in developing skills to better serve our communities. She currently teaches IHHS 409: International Indigenous Experiences of Colonization, and an Aboriginal Health Elective (IHHS 408) that situates health professional students in First Nations communities to work with and learn from the people. Leah also facilitates a variety of workshops and sessions in cultural safety and Indigenous medical education. She is currently working with the communities of Skidegate and Old Massett on a Cultural Safety Project, as well as internationally on a five-year CIHR funded grant with partners in New Zealand, Australia and in Canada entitled “Educating for Equity: Exploring how Health Professional Education can Reduce Disparities in Chronic Disease Care and Improve Outcomes for Indigenous Populations.”


Phone: (604) 822-5973

Divina - Zoomer Show


Divine Ridley, Program Coordinator is of the Nisga’a/Tsimshian/Gitksan Nation, was raised in Gitxaala, and hails from Wilps WisinXbi’ilkw in Nisga’a and Wilps Dak’aam Haast in Gitk’san.  Divina belongs to the Giskaast tribe and has been living in Ts’amiks (Vancouver) for 26 years. She majored in Family Science and Women’s Studies in UBC. She is currently working as a Program Coordinator at the UBC Learning Circle. Her position as Program Coordinator entails booking, coordinating, communication, advocating for the UBC Learning Circle and Youth Circle, marketing, web-updating, technical assistance setting up and ensuring that the equipment are in good working order for webinars and video-conferences, as well as editing videos. She has also worked similarly with the UBC Summer Science and Aboriginal Health and Community Administration program where she also recruited students in both programs.


Phone: (604) 827-5454


Melanie Rivers, Education Coordinator – UBC Learning Circle is Coast Salish from the Squamish Nation. Her St’atl’imc name is 7imlemelwet which means ‘medicine’. Melanie has 19 years of experience in designing and delivering culturally appropriate Indigenous health education and policy at the provincial level. She believes strongly in community-driven, culturally safe and strength-based approaches to improving health outcomes for First Nations. Melanie has been a key leader in the area of Indigenous HIV/AIDS at the BC Centre for Disease Control and worked as a Senior Advisor at the First Nations Health Authority in the area of Strategic Policy. Her areas of focus included cultural safety and humility, harm reduction, traditional healing and wellness, policy development, and health human resources. Melanie is honoured to have visited and partnered with a majority of the 201 First Nations communities in BC. Melanie completed a Masters in Public Health at the University of British Columbia, where she broadened her knowledge and skills in public health.


Phone: (604) 822-2886