Chelsey Purdy,


Board of Directors- Member

Chelsey Purdy (she/her) is a member of Wasoqopa’q (formerly Acadia) First Nation. She grew up in Kespuwick, Mi’kma’ki (the South Shore of Nova Scotia) and currently lives at Kjipuktuk (“the great harbour” in Halifax). She is a registered dietitian and works with the Union of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq (UNSM) supporting the 13 Mi’kmaw communities in the province with food related educational programing and policy. Chelsey recently defended her MSc thesis at Mount Saint Vincent University (2023), where her research focused on the meaning of past, present, and future access to food for Indigenous peoples living with HIV/AIDS in Mi’kma’ki, using arts-based methodologies. Over the last few years, Chelsey has also been involved with Indigenous Youth Roots (IYR). From 2021-2023 she facilitated the East Coast Cohort for the Indigenous Youth Policy School, has sat on the Creation Grants Advisory Circle, and has participated in various other IYR programing (policy hackathon, gatherings, etc.). Chelsey also has experience working with youth and post-secondary students in her community through work with Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey (the body representing Mi’kmaw education in Nova Scotia), and through university-based youth (<18) programming and camps informed by etuaptmumk (two-eyed seeing).

In her work with UNSM, Chelsey aims to support Mi’kmaw communities with identifying and building on individual and communal strengths that can support improved self-determined control over food. This work involves empowering communities to reflect on, remember, and decolonize their food practices and systems, where relationship building is at the core. Chelsey brings her passion for youth and community empowerment to IYR as board member, a youth, and as an IYR program participant.

Chelsey Purdy, who has long light brown hair smiles for a photo while wearing a white blazer and green shirt underneath