Photo of Karlee Fellner

Dr. Karlee Fellner

Pronouns: iskwew/she/her


Associate Professor

Werklund School of Education, Specialization, Counselling Psychology

Contact information

Phone number

Office: +1 (403) 220-7371

For media enquiries, contact

Clayton MacGillivray
Content and Media Specialist

Twitter: @UCalgaryEduc


Educational Background

Doctor of Philosophy Counselling Psychology, University of British Columbia, 2016

Master of Education Counselling Psychology, University of Alberta, 2009

Bachelor of Arts Psychology, University of Alberta, 2007


Dr. Karlee Fellner is Cree/Métis from central Alberta, and a citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta. She is a grateful visitor on the traditional territories of the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai Blackfoot Nations, the T'suu Tina, and the Stoney Nakoda peoples. Dr. Fellner is a prominent scholar activist who has been part of critical initiatives in the field of psychology and beyond, including CPA and PFC’s national task force and Alberta’s (CAP and PAA’s) provincial working group on addressing the TRC in psychology; ASPPB’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (EDI) Task Force; the EDI review panel for the Canada Research Chair program; and served as the Lead Coordinator for the 2022 National Multicultural Conference & Summit. Dr. Fellner’s areas of interest include Indigenous approaches to therapy and trauma work; Indigenous research, curriculum and pedagogy; culturally appropriate counselling; complex trauma; and holistic and traditional approaches to wellness. Dr. Fellner upholds Indigenous community priorities in all aspects of her work, engaging in community-driven transformative research and development. She co-developed the MEd programs Poo’miikapii: Niitsitapi Approaches to Wellness and Niitsitapiisinni: Real Peoples’ Way of Life with Aawaahskataiksi (Elders and Knowledge Holders deemed Eminent Scholars by community) in Kainaiwa, which have awarded over 100 graduate certificates and degrees to community members. Dr. Fellner is also part of the instructional team for Indigenous Focusing-Oriented Therapy, a wholly Indigenous approach to psychotherapy. She is also an acrylic and mixed media artist, who draws upon art practice as healing and wellness. Dr. Fellner strives to nurture diversity and epistemological pluralism in her work in hopes that students will feel supported bringing their diverse ways of knowing, being, and doing into their scholarship and practice.


Areas of Research

Scholarly Activity

Dr. Karlee Fellner's areas of interest include Indigenous psychology and psychotherapy, Indigenist research, Indigenous curriculum and pedagogy, culturally appropriate counselling, working with trauma, holistic and traditional approaches to wellness, and miyo pimâtisiwin (living a good life). Dr. Fellner centres Indigenous epistemologies and methodologies in her research, pedagogy, and counselling practice. She strives to nurture diversity in all facets of her work in hopes that upcoming generations of  students will feel supported bringing their own worldviews, traditions, beliefs, stories, and values into their areas of research, education, and practice. Dr. Fellner's current research program focuses on declonizing and Indigenizing healthcare, education, and psychological services; Indigenous psychotherapies; community-driven approaches to wellness through educational and applied initiatives; and Indigenous arts-based wellness practices.

  • Indigenous counselling and psychotherapy
  • Indigenous education
  • Indigenist research
  • Social justice
  • Counsellor education
  • Diversity
  • Multicultural psychology and counselling
  • Spirituality
  • Holistic and traditional approaches to wellness
  • Survivance-based trauma work with intergenerational, collective, and vicarious trauma

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
EDPS 645 Indigenous Approaches Therapy 2020
EDPS 693 Niitsitapii: Foundations for Wellness 2020



Social Science and Humanity Research Council Insight Development Grant                 2020-2022

  • Co-investigator on the project Medicalization of grief: Looping effects and its alternatives

Alberta Education Research Partnerships Project                                                             2019-2022

  • Co-investigator and key advisor on the project Blackfoot Pedagogical Approaches Kunaitupii Curriculum Project: Trauma Wisdom ‘Inside & Out’ in collaboration with Mount Royal University and Livingstone Range School District

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Connections Grant                           2018-2019

  • Principal investigator on the project Engaging Niitsitapiisinni: Centring Blackfoot Knowledges in Community-Driven Research

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada                                                                        2017-2019

  • Principal investigator on the project Toward Poo’miikapii: Applying Blackfoot Approaches to Wellness in Education

Canadian Institutes of Health Research Indigenous Mentorship Network Program       2017-2022

  • Co-Principal Investigator on the project Alberta Indigenous Mentorship in Health Innovation Network (AIM-HI Network)

Canadian Institutes of Health Research Indigenous Mentorship Network Program        2017-2022

  • Collaborator on the project Building Reconciliation Together: Transformative Intergenerational Mentorship

Canadian Institutes of Health Research Indigenous Approaches to Wellness Research Catalyst Grant       2017-2019

  • Principal investigator on the project Blackfoot Approaches to Wellness: Community Wellness through Health Education

Research Across Borders – International Research Seed Grant, University of Calgary 2016-2017

  • Principal investigator on the project Decolonizing and Indigenizing Urban Indigenous Health Services: Implementing a Medicine Bundle Framework to Better Serve Indigenous Peoples in Urban Spaces

Office of the Vice President (Research) Starter Grant, University of Calgary                 2013-2015

  • Principal investigator on the project Restor(y)ing Indigenous Mental Health on Turtle Island: Deconstructing, Decolonizing, and Indigenizing Psychological Research with Indigenous Peoples in North America

Werklund School of Education’s Faculty Research Cluster Seed Funding, University of Calgary                                                                                                                                     2014

  • Collaborator on the research cluster Coming to Know: Indigenous Research Group

Faculty of Education Graduate Student Research Grant, UBC                                        2013-2014

  • For the project Shaping Mental Health Services to Better Serve Indigenous Peoples Living in Urban Spaces                                                                                                    

Canadian Institutes of Health Research Doctoral Research Award                              2011 to 2014

  • For the project First Nations perspectives on strengths and needs within western mental health service provision

University of British Columbia Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship                                2011 to 2014

  • For the project First Nations perspectives on strengths and needs within western mental health service provision


  • Counselling Indigenous Peoples in a Canadian Context. K. D. Fellner; O. Sutherland; S. Nuttgens; N. Gazzola; R. John; M. Buchanan; S. Cottell. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. 123-147. (2016)
  • miyo-pimâtisiwin: (Re)claiming voice with our Original Instructions. D. McGregor; J. P. Restoule; K. D. Fellner; R. Johnston. Canadian Scholars. 25-45. (2018)
  • Therapy as ceremony: Decolonizing & Indigenizing our practice. Nancy Arthur. Springer. 181-201. (2019)
  • Iskotew & crow: Reigniting narratives of Indigenous survivance & trauma wisdom in the classroom. J. Ottmann; S. Carr-Stewart. UBC Press. 143-170. (2019)
  • Counselling Indigenous peoples in a Canadian context. Fellner, K. D., John, R., & Cottell, S. Canadian handbook of counselling and psychotherapy . 123-147. (2016)