Dr. Pamela Palmater

Pamela Palmater (Mi’kmaw Nation)


Dr. Pamela Palmater is a Mi’kmaw citizen and member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in northern New Brunswick, Canada. Dr. Palmater has been a practicing lawyer for 18 years and is currently an Associate Professor and the Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University. In addition to her LLB law degree from the University of New Brunswick, Dr. Palmater has Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Law from Dalhousie University Law School, specializing in First Nations law.

Dr. Palmater is a leading Indigenous lawyer, scholar, and public figure in Canada and internationally who has worked in the area of Indigenous issues for over 25 years. In this regard, she has made significant contributions through her work on a wide range of social and legal issues that affect Indigenous peoples in Canada, such as housing, child and family services, treaty rights, education, and legislation. As a result, in 2012, she received the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Social Justice; in 2015, the UNB Alumni Award of Distinction and the J.S. Woodsworth Woman of Excellence Award in Human Rights and Equity; and most recently, the Margaret Mead Award in Social Justice.

Dr. Palmater is actively involved in the Assembly of First Nations, and in 2012 was the runner-up in the Assembly of First Nations leadership elections for national chief. She was also one of the spokespeople, organizers, and public educators for the Idle No More movement in 2012-2013. Dr. Palmater has authored several scholarly publications, including the books Indigenous Nationhood: Empowering Grassroots Citizens (Winnipeg, Canada: Fernwood, 2015), and Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity (Saskatoon, Canada: Purich Publishing, 2011).