Pamela Palmater

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Born 1970
Eel River, New Brunswick, Canada
Occupation Professor
Education Dalhousie University
Notable works Beyond Blood: Rethinking Aboriginal Identity and Belonging.

Pamela Palmater (born 1970) is a Mi'kmaq lawyer, professor, activist and politician from Mi'kma'ki, New Brunswick, Canada. A frequent media political commentator, she appears for Aboriginal Peoples Television Network's InFocus, CTV, and CBC. She is an associate professor and the academic director of the Centre for Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University.

Early life and education[edit]

Palmater's family is from Eel River, New Brunswick.[1] She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Thomas University in 1994 with a double major in Native Studies and History. She then graduated from the University of New Brunswick in 1997 with a Bachelor of Laws. In 1999, she graduated from Dalhousie University with a Master in Laws in Aboriginal Law. In 2009, Palmater obtained a Doctorate in Aboriginal Law from Dalhousie University Law School with her thesis entitled, "Beyond Blood: Rethinking Aboriginal Identity and Belonging".[2]


Palmater is active in the Assembly of First Nations and is head of the Centre for Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University, where she is an associate professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration. She worked for the federal government for over ten years, and was a director at Indian and Northern Affairs managing portfolios responsible for First Nations treaties, land claims and self-government.[3][4]

In 2012, Palmater was the runner up in the Assembly of First Nations leadership elections for national chief.[5]


2012 YWCA Toronto Woman of Distinction Award in Social Justice.[6]


Indigenous nationhood: empowering grassroots citizens (Fernwood, 2015)

Stretched Beyond Human Limits: Death by Poverty in First Nations (for publication in 2012).

Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity and Belonging. (Saskatoon: Purich Publishing, 2011)

Our Children, Our Future, Our Vision: First Nation Jurisdiction over First Nation Education for the Chiefs of Ontario

In My Brother’s Footsteps: Is R. v. Powley the Path to Recognized Aboriginal Identity for Non-Status Indians? in J. Magnet, D. Dorey, eds., Aboriginal Rights Litigation (Markham: LexisNexis, 2003) 149. Stretched Beyond Human Limits: Death by Poverty in First Nations (2012) 65/66 Canadian Review of Social Policy.


  1. ^ Canadian Broadcasting System, 8th Fire
  2. ^ Assembly of First Nations, Pam Palmater Biography
  3. ^ Ryerson University. Biography: Pamela Palmater. Retrieved on: 2013-01-26.
  4. ^ National Post, 19 Aug 2012. The time is ripe for First Nations land reform in Canada. [1]
  5. ^ AFN runner-up says gender a factor in defeat against Atleo. The Globe and Mail, 18 Jul 2012. [2]
  6. ^ Meet the 2012 Recipients. YWCA

External links[edit]

  • Personal web site [3]
  • Lecture on the future Indian policy of Canada, 2012, part 1, 2, 3, 4