Schiff, Dr. Rebecca

Rebecca Schiff
Dean, Faculty of Human and Health Sciences
Email: Campus:
  • Prince George


Dr. Rebecca Schiff is a trans-disciplinary university scholar and administrator, working across many health and allied disciplines including public health, Indigenous health, psychology, nursing, education, occupational therapy, and social work among others. Dr. Schiff’s research interests cross diverse topics in health equity and sustainability, with a particular focus on rural and northern health and health care.

Dr. Schiff came to UNBC from Lakehead University, where she was Professor of Rural, Northern, and Indigenous Health and Chair of the Department of Health Sciences. Dr. Schiff held positions previously as Assistant Professor (Indigenous Health) in the Faculty of Medicine Memorial University (based at the Labrador Institute) and in the Department of Justice Studies at University of Regina.

Dr. Schiff also serves as North American Regional Co-editor for the international journal Rural and Remote Health. She was previously President of the Canadian Association of Food Studies and Co-chair for the Research Exchange Group on Rural, Northern, and Indigenous Health at the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research.

Dr. Schiff completed an undergraduate and postgraduate degree at McGill University. She completed a PhD at the Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy - Murdoch University.

Research and Expertise

Research Fields:
  • Community
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Human Rights
  • Mental Health
  • Rural Health Services
  • Rural planning and development
  • Social Work
  • Sustainability
Areas of Expertise:

Social dimensions of health and well-being, socio-ecological determinants of health, rural and remote health, rural and remote health care, food systems. housing and homelessness, sustainable development, mental health and addictions.

Languages Spoken:
  • English
Not accepting graduate students
Supervises in:
  • MSc Health Sciences
  • PhD Health Sciences
Available to be contacted by the media as a subject matter expert

Selected Publications

Schiff R. and Møller H. (Eds). 2021. Health and Healthcare in Northern Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Schiff R., Levkoe C., and Galway L. (Eds). 2020. Regional centres and the sustainability of Canada's rural and northern landscapes. Northern Review.

Buccieri K. and Schiff R. (Eds). 2016. Pandemic Preparedness and Homelessness: Lessons from H1N1 in Canada. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness.

Schiff R. and Wilkinson A. In press. The Role of Food Policy Councils in Supporting Urban Agriculture: A scoping review in Droege, P. (ed) Urban Agriculture and Regional Food Systems: Building Resilient Food Systems. Elsevier.

Schiff R., Levkoe C., and Wilkinson A. 2022. Food Policy Councils: A 20-Year Scoping Review (1999-2019). Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 168.

Schiff R., Krysowaty B., Hay T. and Wilkinson A. 2021. Pandemic Preparedness and Response in Service Hub Cities: lessons from Northwestern Ontario. Housing, Care, and Support. Vol. 24 No. 3/4, pp. 85-92.

Waegemakers Schiff J., Weissman E., Scharf D., Schiff R., Campbell Cl, Knapp J. 2021. The impact of COVID-19 on research within the homeless services sector. Under revision for special edition of Housing, Care, and Support.

Levkoe C., Schiff R., Arnold K., and Kerk K. A. 2021. Using Social Network Analysis to understand the impact of systems integration efforts through Food Policy Councils: A Case Study from Thunder Bay. Canadian Food Studies. 8(2).

Schiff R., Friell H., and Hardy C. 2021. Understanding Barriers to Implementing and Managing Therapeutic Diets for People Living with Chronic Kidney Disease in Remote Indigenous Communities. Current Developments in Nutrition. 5(1). DOI:

Uvanile, M., Nelson, C., Vinni, J., and Schiff R. 2020. Exploring the Meaning of Therapeutic Horticulture for Anishinabek Youth in a Brief Residential Treatment Unit: A Community Engagement CSL Case Study. Engaged Scholar Journal. 6(2)

Kauppi, C. and Schiff, R. 2021. How Are Indigenous Women's Experiences of Policing and Homelessness Linked to MMIWG? Submitted to Hankard, M. & Dillen, J. (eds.). Red Dresses on Bare Trees: Stories and Reflections on Indigenous Murdered and Missing Women and Girls. Vernon, BC: J. Charlton Publishing, Ltd.

Schiff R., Buccieri K., Waegemakers Schiff J., Kauppi C. and Riva M. 2020. COVID-19 and Pandemic planning in the context of rural and remote homelessness. Canadian Journal of Public Health.

Schiff R. 2020. Place-Based Sustainability Planning: Implications & Recommendations for Rural Northwestern Ontario. Northern Review. Online ahead: DOI:

Pauly B., Brown M., Evans J., Gray E., Schiff R., Isvins A., Krysowaty B., Vallance K., Stockwell T. 2019. ‘There is a Place’: Implementation and Impacts of Managed Alcohol Programs for people Experiencing Severe Alcohol Dependence and Homelessness. Harm Reduction Journal 16(70).

Schiff R., Pauly B., Brown M., Evans J., Gray E., Isvins A., Krysowaty B., Vallance K., Stockwell T. 2019. Managed Alcohol Programs in the context of Housing First. Housing, Care, and Social Support. 22(4).

Nguemo Djiometio J., Antoniou T., Kristman V., Schiff R., Gamble L.K., Yudin M., Loutfy M. 2019. Understanding the fertility desires and intentions among HIV-positive men living in Ontario: Survey instrument development and validation. Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care. 18(1)

Buccieri K., Oudshoorn A., Abramovich A., Schiff R., Frederick T., Forchuk C., Gaetz S. 2018. Hospital discharge planning for Canadians experiencing homelessness. Housing Care and Support.

Schiff R. and Bernard K. 2018. Food Systems and Indigenous Peoples in Labrador: Issues and New Directions in Keske C (Ed) Food Futures NL. St. John’s: Iser Press.

Pauly B., Vallance K., Wettlaufer A., Chow C., Brown R., Evans J., Gray E., Krysowaty B., Isvins A., Schiff R., and Stockwell T. 2018. Community Managed Alcohol Programs in Canada: Overview of Key Dimensions and Implementation. Drug and Alcohol Review. 37 (Suppl. 1), S132–S139

Giles M., Schiff R., Valcour J. 2017. Impact of an HIV Program for Youth in Southern Inuit Communities. Canadian Journal of Native Studies. 37(1)

Schiff R. 2017. A rejoinder to Racism: a major impediment to optimal Indigenous health and health care in Australia. Australian Indigenous Health Bulletin. 17(2).

Waegemakers Schiff J., Schiff R., Turner A., and Bernard, K. 2015 Rural Homelessness in Canada: Directions for planning and research. Journal of Rural and Community Development. 10(4).

Schiff R. and Brunger F. 2015 Northern Housing Networks: Building Collaborative Efforts to Address Housing and Homelessness Remote Canadian Communities. Journal of Rural and Community Development. 10(1).

Schiff R. 2014 Rethinking Governance: Supporting healthy development through systems-level collaboration in Canada’s Provincial North. Northern Review. 38.

Brunger F., Schiff R., Morton-Ninomiya M., and Bull J. 2014 Animating the concept of ethical space: The Labrador Aboriginal Health Research Committee Ethics Workshop. International Journal of Indigenous Health Research. 10(1).

Waegemakers Schiff J. and Schiff R. 2014 Housing First: Paradigm or program? Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless. 23(2).

Schiff R. and Brunger F. 2013. Northern food networks: Building Collaborative Efforts for Food Security in Northern Aboriginal communities. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development.

Schiff R. 2008. The Role of Food Policy Councils in Developing Sustainable Food Systems. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 3(2/3): 206 – 227.