Dr. Vera Caine

Dr. Vera Caine
Office: HSD A402


Area of expertise

HIV, Refugees, Indigenous, narrative inquiry, community-based research, participatory action

Dr. Vera Caine joined the School of Nursing as Professor and Director in May of 2022 after 14 years at the University of Alberta. Vera was a CIHR New Investigator from 2014 to 2019. She currently serves as Vice Chair for the CIHR HIV/AIDS and STBBI Research Advisory Committee (CHASRAC).

Vera’s long-standing interest in the area of HIV was first formalized during her graduate research. Using a visual narrative inquiry approach, she worked closely with urban Indigenous women living with HIV. She kept in contact with them through the years, opening up many questions about the messiness of research, the unfolding of relationships, how we each are touched by lives and stories, while also exploring issues of differences. She is currently reflecting upon the long-term impact of HIV on their lives. This work has shaped Vera’s understanding of relational ethics and has informed her co-authored (together with Dr. D. Jean Clandinin and Dr. Sean Lessard) book The Relational Ethics of Narrative Inquiry which was published in 2018 by Routledge.

Vera was the President of the Canadian Association of Nurses in HIV/AIDS Care (CANAC) from 2019 to 2021; she currently serves as Past President. In the field of HIV she engages in research alongside nurses, women at risk for or living with HIV during their early mothering experience, and most recently alongside children who are at risk for sexual exploitation. She is engaged in community-based research projects, with a strong emphasis on participatory action. Together with Dr. Judy Mill and a contributing chapter by Dr. Randy Jackson and Renée Masching she published The Essentials of Community Based Research with Left Coast Press in 2016. Vera is part of the national FEAST Centre for Indigenous STBBI Research, which is located at McMaster University and co-lead by Dr. Randy Jackson and Renée Masching. She is also part of the Waniska (ᐊᐧᓂᐢᑲ) Centre which is situated at the University of Saskatchewan and lead by Dr. Alexandra King; the centre focuses on HIV, Hepatitis C Virus and STBBIs in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. 

Her current research is a narrative inquiry into the experiences of families with young children who arrive in Canada as refugees. Vera helped to establish the Refugee Health Coalition (RHC) in Edmonton, which she co-facilitated with Astrid Velasquez. As part of this, she was involved in the establishment of the New Canadians Health Centre (NCHC) in Edmonton, a community health centre which serves refugee populations. She served as the chair of the board for the NCHC. 

Central to her work is a focus on experiences and relationships, which is reflected in her methodological approach. Her most recent book Narrative Inquiry: Philosophical Roots was published in 2022 by Bloomsbury and is co-authored by Dr. D. Jean Clandinin and Dr. Sean Lessard.