Pamela Palmater is an Indigenous woman and member of Eel River Bar First Nation which is part of the larger Mi’kmaw Nation in Mi’kmaki, Canada. She is also a lawyer, author, and social justice activist who advocates for rights of Indigenous peoples. She has 4 university degrees, including a Doctorate in Law from Dalhousie University specializing in Indigenous law. She currently hold the position of Associate Professor and Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University.
Pam was one of the spokespeople and public educators for the Idle No More Indigenous resistance movement in Canada and advocates alongside other social movements focusing on social justice and human rights. She is frequently called as a legal expert before Parliamentary and United Nations committees dealing with laws and policies impacting Indigenous peoples, including international trade agreements. Her current research focuses on police racism and sexualized violence against Indigenous women and girls.
Pam is a well-known public speaker and media commentator – considered one of Canada’s Top 25 Influential Movers and Shakers by the Financial Post and the Top 5 Most Influential Lawyer in Human Rights by Canadian Lawyer Magazine. She has been recognized with many awards for her social justice advocacy on behalf of First Nations generally, and Indigenous women and children specifically, including the 2012 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Social Justice.
Her books, Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity (Purich) and Indigenous Nationhood: Empowering Grassroots Citizens (Fernwood), and her other publications focus on Indigenous law, politics, governance and resistance.