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Pamela Palmater (1970 -)

Pamela Palmater (1970 -)

Pamela Palmater is a Mi'kmaq woman from the Eel River Reservation in New Brunswick. She is a lawyer, professor, and an award-winning activist for Aboriginal Peoples and their rights. Palmater fights for many different social justice issues, including child and family services, treaty rights, education for aboriginal peoples, and off-reserve housing. She has been particularly critical of the Indian Act.

  • Palmater has four university degrees, including a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies and History, a Bachelor of Law, a Master of Laws, and a Doctorate in the Science of Law.
  • In 2011, she published her first book, Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity. This book addresses the way that the Indian Act and the government decide who is legally a status Indian in Canada.
  • Palmater was involved in the “Idle No More” from the beginning - raising awareness of the treatment of Indigenous women and the law.
  • In 2012, Palmater ran to be the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and was a runner up.
  • She has won many awards for her work, including the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Social Justice.
  • She is the Associate Professor and Chair for the Indigenous Governance Program at Ryerson University in Toronto.
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