Sandrina de Finney

Sandrina de Finney
School of Child and Youth Care

BA, PhD (UVic)

Area of expertise

Processes of racialization and youth identities, Aboriginal, ethnic minority and immigrant youth, youth participation in practice and research, community development and community-based practice

Sandrina de Finney is a professor whose primary focus of scholarship is Indigenous and minoritized populations, particularly youth in care and girls/young women. Drawing on over two decades of experience as a community activist, researcher, trainer and youth worker, Sandrina’s academic work documents the impact of (neo)colonial practices and policies and how racialized communities negotiate and disrupt their effects. Her scholarship is rooted in participatory, action-oriented, and arts-based methods and draws on Indigenous, queer, anti-racist, anti/postcolonial and transnational feminist theories and perspectives.

Teaching and training

Sandrina is passionate about integrating her research and teaching with community training and activism. In academic settings, she has developed numerous courses for on- campus and online delivery and teaches in the Indigenous diploma, undergraduate and graduate programs. She has also developed and delivered training on community-based research and community development to hundreds of participants in diverse settings.

Research interests

Child welfare, Indigenous customary caregiving and kinship care,
Participatory, arts-based, land-based, child- youth- and community-led research and practices
Critical feminist, intersectional, anti-colonial, Indigenous frameworks

Research and scholarly interests

Research and scholarly interests:

  • Racialized girls and young women; racialized youth
  • Community-based, anti/post-colonial, anti-racist, feminist research and practice
  • Social change-centered, arts-based and participatory methods
  • Indigenous research and methodologies
  • Indigenous child welfare, foster care and adoptions

Sandrina has extensive experience in conducting community-based research as principal and co-investigator. Primary areas of focus are child welfare, including child and family services, foster care, and cultural and custom adoptions; girlhood studies; and girl, youth, and community engagement.

She is the co-founder and past president of antidote, a community-based organization for racialized minority and Indigenous girls and women that conducts community-based research and supports social change and advocacy for and by racialized girls and women ( antidote was awarded the 2009 diversity award by the BC Representative for Children and Families.

As research adviser for the Indigenous Child Well-being Research Network, Sandrina has developed and delivered research training and consultations across the province to make child welfare research training more congruent with the needs and voices of diverse Indigenous communities.

In this role Sandrina advocates for Indigenous research approaches. She develops and delivers research training, conducts community-based research, publishes articles and resources, and provides consultations to Indigenous communities and organizations wanting to conduct child welfare research.