Global Institute for Water Security

Academic Background

Lori Bradford completed an Honour's B.Sc. (Biochemistry) (McMaster), M.E.S. (Lakehead), and Ph.D. in Social Psychology (Lincoln, New Zealand). She worked as a Human Dimensions Specialist for Parks Canada in 2005-2006 in the National Directorate examining human impacts on Canada's National Parks and Heritage Sites. Subsequently she completed three postdoctoral fellowships. The first examined decision making among stakeholders for remediation of sites along the shores of Lake Superior through a SSHRC-funded multi-method workshop (Lakehead University, 2011). The second postdoctoral fellowship examined problems related to the human dimension of water security: community assets for water security in rural South Africa (Steelman et al., 2015), SSHRC-funded "Downstream" production (Strickert and Bradford, 2015), SSHRC funded Facilitated Empathy for Water Security, USASK Research Acceleration Program-funded and later SSHRC-funded Delta Dialogue Network (Steelman et al 2018), and a social network analysis project examining interdisciplinarity and sustainability among SENS practitioners. During this time she was also contracted by Ag Canada to produce a report on the decision making drivers for the Invitational Drought Tournament and contributed to four papers arising from a sole-source contract through Dr. G. Strickert. Lori's third postdoctoral position was in the School of Public Health at USASK and has produced articles describing perceptions of water among indigenous youth through photovoice (Bradford, Zagozewski and Bharadwaj, 2015), a scoping review of First Nations water and health research (Bradford et al. 2016), a policy analysis of the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act (Morrison, Bradford and Bharadwaj, 2015), and several papers and knowledge mobilization projects arising from the CWN-funded SWEEP program (Mantyka-Pringle et al. 2017; Bradford, Lindenschmidt and Bharadwaj, 2016, and Bradford and Bharadwaj, 2016). She also collaborated on a book chapter on indigenizing water governance in Canada for an edited volume (Bradford, Ovsenek, and Bharadwaj, 2017).

Her current appointment as an assistant professor with the School of Environment and Sustainability includes membership in the Safe Drinking Water for Heath Research Team where she lead a GIWS-funded project looking at community co-design of water infrastructure on reserves (Bradford et al. 2018), two Water Economics Governance and Policy Network funded programs, several knowledge translation projects, and government of NWT CIMP-funded interdisciplinary paper on fish ecology (Bladwin et al. 2018).

Research Interests and Expertise

Lori's primary interests in research are to examine how social psychological forces influence policy and practices related to water and wastewater in Indigenous and rural communities. Her methodological expertise (community-engaged participatory research, interview, focus groups, social network analysis and Q-methodology) assist her to gain more complete understanding of complex environmental problems where contention arises between individual goals and social group pressures for water management. She also explores how access to safe drinking water and social determinants of health are interrelated. She is committed to co-lead, co-managed research with Indigenous communities. Her creativity is exemplified in several unique knowledge mobilization products she has produced (whiteboard animation videos, interactive infographics, in-box exercises for practical application, curriculum development, and decision support tools). Lori's scoping review studies also contribute strategically in identifying research gaps and in drawing together interdisciplinary teams to examine complex problems.

Research Keywords

  • Indigenous water knowledge
  • Water policy
  • Water empathy
  • Social determinants of health
  • Engaged scholarship


Book Chapters:

Bharadwaj, L., & Bradford, L. (2018). Indigenous Water Poverty: Impacts Beyond Physical Health. Northern and indigenous health and health care, 34.

Bradford, L. E., Ovsenek, N., & Bharadwaj, L. A. (2017). Indigenizing water governance in Canada. In Water policy and governance in Canada (pp. 269-298). Springer, Cham.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Bradford, L., Waldner, C., McLaughlin, K., Zagozewski, R., & Bharadwaj, L. (2018). A mixed-method examination of risk factors in the truck-to-cistern drinking water system on the Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation Reserve, Saskatchewan. Canadian Water Resources Journal/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques, 1-18.

Egunyu, F., Clark, D. A., & Bradford, L. (2018). Polar bear science: characterizing relationship patterns and identifying opportunities. Polar Geography41(1), 39-54.

Strickert, G. and Bradford, L.E.A. (2018) Water Security – Ethical Debates. Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics, Heidelberg, Germany.

Steelman, T.A., Andrews, E., Baines, S., Bharadwaj, L., Bjornson, E.R., Bradford, L., Cardinal, K., Carriere, G., Fresque-Baxter, J., Jardine, T.D. and MacColl, I., (2018). Identifying transformational space for transdisciplinarity: using art to access the hidden third. Sustainability Science, pp.1-20.

Baldwin, C., Bradford, L., Carr, M.K., Doig, L.E., Jardine, T.D., Jones, P.D., Bharadwaj, L. and Lindenschmidt, K.E., (2018). Ecological patterns of fish distribution in the Slave River Delta region, Northwest Territories, Canada, as relayed by traditional knowledge and Western science. International Journal of Water Resources Development34(2), pp.305-324.

Bradford, L. E., Idowu, B., Zagozewski, R., & Bharadwaj, L. A. (2017). There is no publicity like word of mouth… Lessons for communicating drinking water risks in the urban setting. Sustainable Cities and Society29, 23-40.

Mantyka-Pringle, C.S., Jardine, T.D., Bradford, L., Bharadwaj, L., Kythreotis, A.P., Fresque-Baxter, J., Kelly, E., Somers, G., Doig, L.E., Jones, P.D. and Lindenschmidt, K.E., (2017). Bridging science and traditional knowledge to assess cumulative impacts of stressors on ecosystem health. Environment international102, pp.125-137.

Bradford, L. E., Bharadwaj, L. A., Okpalauwaekwe, U., & Waldner, C. L. (2016). Drinking water quality in Indigenous communities in Canada and health outcomes: a scoping review. International journal of circumpolar health75(1), 32336.

Bradford, L. E., Bharadwaj, L. A., & Lindenschmidt, K. E. (2016). Alternative Policies for Collaborative Publishing in Natural Resource Journals. Society & Natural Resources 1-14.

Bradford, L. E. & Bharadwaj, L. A. (2015). Whiteboard animation for knowledge mobilization: a test case from the Slave River and Delta, Canada. International journal of circumpolar health, 74. D01:10.3402/ijch.v74.28780

Steelman, T., Nichols, E. G., James, A. Bradford, L., Ebersohn, L. Scherman, V, & McHale, M. R. (2015). Practicing the science of sustainability: the challenges of transdisciplinarity in a developing world context. Sustainability Science, 10(4), 581-599.

Strickert, G.E.H., Bradford, L.E. (2015) Of Pings and Pongs: On Forum Theatre for Knowledge Mobilization. International Journal of Qualitative Methodology.

Morrison, A., Bradford, L, and Bharadwaj, L.A. (2015) "Quantifiable progress of the First Nations Water Management Strategy, 2001-2013: Ready for regulation?." Canadian Water Resources Journal/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques : 1-21. DOI:10.1080/07011784.2015.1080124

Strickert, G., Chun, K. P., Bradford, L., Clark, D., Gober, P., Reed, M. G., & Payton, D. (2015). Unpacking viewpoints on water security: lessons from the South Saskatchewan River Basin. Water Policy, wp2015195.

Strickert, G.E. & Bradford, L.E. (2014) Performing Perspectives on Water Security — On the Use of Forum Theatre for Research Communication. International Symposium on Society and Resources Management. Hannover, Germany (June 9th, 2014).

Lemelin, R. H., Koster, R., Bradford, L., Strickert, G., & Molinsky, L. (2015). People, Places, Protected Areas and Tourism: Place Attachment in Rossport, Ontario, Canada. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 15(1-2), 167-182.

Bradford, L. & McIntyre, N. (2007) Off the beaten track: Messaging and off-trail use. Parks and Recreation Administration. Vol. 25 (1), Spring 2007, p. 1-21.