Conceptual interdisciplinary model of exposure to environmental changes to address indigenous health and well-being

S. Billiot, F. M. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: Global environmental changes not only impact the physical environment but the health and well-being of people on earth. Emerging research demonstrates how indigenous peoples' physical and behavioural health is disproportionately affected by changes to their ecosystems in combination with pre-existing social and economic inequities. This article introduces a conceptual model to enhance our understanding of environmental change and its impact on indigenous behavioural health and well-being. Study design: Using an indigenous theoretical lens, this article presents a review of existing theoretical frameworks applied to environmental changes and empirical studies with indigenous populations. Methods: The conceptual model joins elements from the indigenist stress-coping model from the field of social work with the exposure pathway model from the field of public health. Results: The interdisciplinary model joins elements from the indigenist stress-coping model with the exposure pathway model to highlight indigenous-specific sensitivities and cultural buffers that are particular to the impacts of environmental change among indigenous peoples. Conclusions: Implications for public health and social work policy, practice and research with indigenous communities are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-148
Number of pages7
JournalPublic Health
StatePublished - Nov 2019



  • Behavioural health
  • Environmental change
  • Health
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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