#365 Indigenous: Pam Palmater
Dr. Pamela D. Palmater is a Mi’kmaw citizen and member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in northern New Brunswick.
A practicing lawyer for decades, Palmater also holds the Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University. A formidable scholar, she has her Masters and Doctorate in law from Dalhousie University Law School, where she specialized in Indigenous and constitutional law. Her expertise is in Indigenous law, sovereignty and nation-building. She is frequently called as an expert before Parliamentary and United Nations committees dealing with laws and policies affecting Indigenous peoples.
A force behind the Idle No More movement, Palmater is a social justice activist and prominent Indigenous rights advocate. She hosts a podcast called “Warrior Life” that focuses on the power of education, health and community to decolonize minds, bodies and spirits. Her political blog, Indigenous Nationhood has been reposted and reprinted in numerous formats and has been published into a book, Indigenous Nationhood: Empowering Grassroots Citizens.
“To say that we are in a crisis of epic proportions would be an understatement,” says Palmater. “ We need to act now to end the genocide of Indigenous peoples and stop the ecocide of the Earth. Because we know that the pain of Indigenous peoples is the same pain felt by the planet. And the pain of this planet is felt first and foremost by Indigenous Peoples.”
Palmater has been recognized with many awards and honours for her social justice advocacy on behalf of First Nations generally, and Indigenous women and children specifically, and most recently for her work related to murdered and missing Indigenous women. She was named by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of the Top 5 Most Influential Lawyers in the Human Rights category. She won the J.S. Woodsworth Woman of Excellence Award in Human Rights and Equity, and the Margaret Mead Award in Social Justice.