Charlie A. Bouverette


Charlie Brick WallCharlie (she/her) has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Ferris State University and a master’s degree in Comparative Religion from Western Michigan University. Charlie is currently a graduate student at University of Minnesota-Duluth in the Social Work department and finishing her practicum at Anam Cara Therapies. She is a Professional Education Diversity Fellow. This fellowship seeks to, “promote a diversity of views, experiences, and ideas through the recruitment and support of academically excellent students with diverse ethnic, racial, economic, and educational backgrounds and experiences.” She also received a graduate certificate in Health, Culture and Spirituality that  emphasizes, “cultural understanding of the body, illness and health, and emphasizes practical tools for addressing religious, spiritual and cultural diversity in health and human services settings.”

Charlie was a research assistant at the American Indian and Minority Health Center in working in community-based research exploring health disparities in northern Minnesota tribal communities. She was also a research assistant on the Northland Access to Justice project, an advocacy project that, “explores the unique challenges of civil legal aid provision across diverse communities and state and professional frameworks” and examines how, “justice is interpreted by individuals in family, professional, tribal, state and regional contexts throughout northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.”

Charlie identifies as a thanatological social worker and primarily has worked in fields related to medicine and end-of-life care. She blends this interest with understandings of an Indigenist worldview and is part of a matrilineal tribal tradition (Metis Nation of Ontario/Mohawk/Iroquois/French). Charlie believes that understanding the importance of spiritual coping for Indigenous folks is central to worldview. She is aiming to address problematic and alarming health disparities of American Indian people with virtually non-existent information or research available on the importance of spiritual and religious support intrinsic to well-being.  Working within community, professional, and academic spaces, her goal is to intentionally blur the lines of researcher/participant.  Functioning outside of the lines of scientific objective rigidity is “intentional reflexivity” that pushes the understandings of what is historically been considered “scholarship” or “knowledge” by academic institutions.  Charlie participates in work that is intervention-oriented, community-based, and that bridges the gap between conventional research and applied justice action. Political and ideological value commitments underline the choices for her work placing the application of research that is based on the concerns of the community above academic debates in the literature.

Charlie has served as an adjunct instructor in the Religion Department at Western Michigan University. She is published for her scholarly research in burial ritual and other non-academic writings based in narrative and storytelling.