Magdalena Smolewski has conducted academic research with Aboriginal women in Australia, where she looked at their colonial and post-colonial experiences and their present social and cultural conditions, including gender relations. Her other research interests include community-driven Indigenous research, Indigenous praxis, urban Indigenous issues, violence against Indigenous women, community healing and wellbeing, youth leadership and trauma-informed approaches to education and research. For many years, Smolewski taught courses in medical anthropology, gender studies, Indigenous spirituality and research methods at the University of Toronto.
Smolewski has been a research director with the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres. She has co-authored a book, Historic Trauma and Aboriginal Healing, published by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. Smolewski has worked at the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs as senior policy advisor and team lead and provided services as a consultant to First Nations and Aboriginal organizations across Canada.
Smolewski holds a PhD in Socio-cultural Anthropology (2004), a Master of Arts in Socio-cultural Anthropology (1998), and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Anthropology and Psychology (1997) all from the University of Toronto. She has received a number of awards including the Circle of Honour Award: Reaching Out, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Ontario; School of Graduate Studies Scholarship, University of Toronto; Research Grant, SSHRC and the Mellisa Knauer Award for Feminist Research in Anthropology.