Pamela D. Palmater

Pam is a  Mi’kmaq mother of two boys (Mitchell and Jeremy), from the eastern part of Mi’kma’ki (New Brunswick). Her family originates from the Eel River Bar First Nation in northern New Brunswick. They have significant ties to our traditional Nation and our home community, where her great grandfather, Louis Jerome was one of the first chiefs. They also have long-standing ties to various grass roots organizations in the Maritimes who have worked together to advocate for legal and political recognition of our citizens, both Mi’kmaq and Maliseet peoples.

"It is my personal and career goal to continue to work on Indigenous issues and nation-building, until we have achieved healthy, sustainable communities supported by strong, vibrant Indigenous Nations that are inclusive of all their rightful citizens. It is vital that we protect our culture and identity for our heirs and their heirs forever.

Her website is to help unite and empower the grass roots citizens of our Indigenous Nations in Canada so that we can advocate on our own behalf as individuals and communities to make full-informed decisions about our futures. I challenge the federal, provincial, territorial governments, as well as the Indigenous Nations, governments, communities, and organizations to be more inclusive of their grass roots citizens and better reflect our diverse and common interests as Indigenous peoples."

Pamela Palmater completed her Doctorate in the Science of Law (JSD) at Dalhousie University Law Faculty in 2009. Her thesis is entitled: Beyond Blood: Rethinking Aboriginal Identity and Belonging.  In addition, she holds a Master in Laws (LLM) from Dalhousie University in Aboriginal Law, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at the University of New Brunswick, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) with a double major in Native Studies and History from St. Thomas University in New Brunswick. She was called to the bar in New Brunswick in 1998 and is a member of the Law Society of New Brunswick, the Canadian Bar Association and the Indigenous Bar Association. She has worked for the federal government on Aboriginal issues for over 10 years. Her position as a lawyer at Justice Canada involved various legal matters pertaining to First Nations. She has also held several positions as Director at Indian and Northern Affairs, managing treaties, claims, self-government, land and registration portfolios. She has also worked and/or volunteered with national and provincial Aboriginal organizations and communities.

Dr. Palmater’s areas of teaching expertise and interest include Aboriginal Governance and Justice; Comparative Indigenous Studies; Human Rights (both domestic and international); and Constitutional Law (including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms), and she can supervise students who wish to undertake independent studies, Masters or doctoral studies in research areas relating to Aboriginal peoples.

Her current research interests relate to Aboriginal Governance matters, specifically how land and natural resources, treaties and Aboriginal rights, jurisdiction and law-making powers and citizenship and identity issues can contribute to stronger Aboriginal families, communities, organizations and Nations.  A key part of this research is the ever-changing political structures and relationships within and between Aboriginal communities, their relationships with the state and on the international stage. She is interested in partnering with Aboriginal organizations and communities to conduct further research in these areas. Recognizing her as "... a trailblazing role model for young Indigenous women, planting seeds of change that are transforming Indigenous communities across Canada,” the YWCA named her a Woman of Distinction in the Social Justice category for 2012

Added to Archives 2013