November 10, 2022
Dr. Rosalin Miles will be honoured with the Volunteer Leadership Award at the alumni UBC Achievement Awards gala dinner and silent auction on Monday, November 14, 2022.
The Volunteer Leadership Award honours an alum who has contributed significantly as a volunteer to the community over a sustained period. Through their leadership, they have enriched the lives of others with their generous gifts of time, talent, or treasure.
The name of Dr. Rosalin Miles has become synonymous with promoting physical activity within Indigenous communities. Dr. Miles is a research associate in the Indigenous Health and Physical Activity program in the Faculty of Education and a member of the Lytton First Nation. She practices reciprocity by volunteering in her community and at UBC, where she gives back as an Indigenous scholar, advisor, and mentor.
Dr. Miles earned her master’s degree in human kinetics, specializing in coaching science in 1998, becoming the first First Nation kinesiologist to graduate from the UBC School of Kinesiology. She has since then completed both her graduate certificate in nonprofit management in 2003 and her education doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction, majoring in exercise science, with international honours in 2005 at the University of Central Florida.
She has a combined 38 years of experience working in sports, fitness, education, and health as a coach, registered kinesiologist, Active Release Therapist, college and university instructor, researcher, Reiki practitioner, and nationally-awarded Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. She is also a national-level athlete.
Dr. Miles is the founder and volunteer executive director of the Indigenous Physical Activity and Cultural Circle (IPACC) through which she has led eight National Indigenous Physical Activity and Wellness Conferences across Canada as well as nine Active Spirit Walk and Runs with the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and international virtual community.
In 2019, she was nominated by Elder and past-Chief Gail Sparrow for the Vancouver Quadra’s Hidden Hero Award for her dedication and leadership with the national non-profit IPACC and was recognized with the award presented by the House of Commons.
Dr. Miles established four National Strength and Conditioning (NSCA) conferences at UBC. She was the volunteer provincial director of the NSCA of BC and volunteered as a UBC strength coach for the women’s soccer team for four years. She went on to work in two USA NCAA Athletics programs as strength and conditioning coach. Upon returning to Canada, she worked at the UBC First Nations House of Learning and was a sessional instructor at the UBC School of Kinesiology.
She continued her career as an external evaluator of Indigenous organizations for Health Canada before working with Lytton First Nation as a Band administrator. She continues to volunteer as a member of the College of Peer Reviewer of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Recently, she served on the 8th International Society for Physical Activity and Health Congress (ISPAH) and was the Chair for the ISPAH Pre-Congress Special Event dedicated to Indigenous Health and Wellness.
As a practitioner of bridging academia and Indigenous ways of knowing, Dr. Miles believes that education remains ongoing and that giving back to community is the best way to share what is possible.
A version of this story originally appeared on the alumni UBC website