The Neurodivergent WomanThe Neurodivergent Woman

Decolonising Neurodivergence with Claire Johnston

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On our final episode for season 4 we welcome Claire Johnston to the podcast. Claire is a citizen of the Red River Métis Nation, who lives on the land of their ancestors in Treaty 1 Territory, also known as Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. They are a Métis beadwork artist and are currently mentoring under Métis artist and Knowledge Keeper Jennine Krauchi.


Claire is a proud autistic person who finds immense joy in working with their hands. They believe their ability to work intricately and precisely with their hands is a gift from their ancestors, meant to be shared with the world. Claire is a founding member of a grassroots Métis collective called Red River Echoes, which works towards reclaiming sovereignty, land, culture, and kinship across the Métis Homeland.


Claire is also a member of the Two-Spirit Michif local and is a team member of the Re*Storying Autism project out of Brandon University, which works toward a liberated future for neurodivergent people through art, and challenges western, capitalist, biomedical, and colonial understandings of people who think differently. 


This episode was such a joy to record. We chat about the intersection of indigenous and neurodivergent identity, the impact of colonisation on identity formation for neurodivergent indigenous peoples, and how we can join the work of decolonising indigenous neurodivergent identity. We chat about claiming your identity through connection to culture and ancestral knowledge, and the vital importance of recognizing your gifts.


Claire shares their experience as both a research participant and a collaborator with the Re*Storying Autism project and speaks to the importance of having their experiences and the experiences of other indigenous autistic folk be ‘witnessed’. Claire shares their experience of neurodivergence, including the social justice drive, their work as a beadwork artist, and the strengths and challenges of their neurotype.


Things we mentioned:

  • Check out Claire’s short video for the Re*Storying Autism project here.
  • Find out more about the Re*Storying Autism project here (information about the the Critical Autism Summit 2024 will be oosted here, and the neurodiversity module for teachers will also be published here).
  • Re*Storying Autism Instragram 
  • Get in contact with Claire by email or Instagram



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Thanks for listening to the show! We will be back with Season 5 in February 2024. You can stay in touch over the season break by following us on Facebook and Instagram, or by joining our Patreon community. Patreon subscribers receive basic episode transcripts for Season 4, access to a monthly live zoom hang out, 50% off our episode articles, plus bonus monthly content (depending on subscription tier). Check out our Patreon page to support us, as we aim to make quality mental health care information accessible to everyone:


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    The Neurodivergent Woman

    A podcast for neurodivergent women, hosted by clinical psychologist Monique Mitchelson and clinical  
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