About

A Catalyst for Indigenous Reconciliation and Social Change 

Dr. Pam Palmater is a globally recognized public speaker and trainer whose compelling voice ignites a fire for social justice and inspires us all to join the collective journey towards reconciliation with Indigenous communities. As a well-known Indigenous podcaster, documentary filmmaker, and YouTuber, Pam’s adept utilization of social media platforms to illuminate Indigenous issues distinguishes her as a trailblazer. Her indomitable spirit, fervor for social justice, and consequential contributions have reshaped Canadian laws and policies, exemplifying the power of individual agency. 

A proud citizen of the Mi’kmaw Nation and member of Eel River Bar First Nation, Pam’s extensive, three-decade commitment to community-based engagement has helped her foster enduring relationships with First Nations, Indigenous women’s organizations, grassroots Indigenous collectives, and human rights advocacy groups. Her prominent role as one of the spokespersons and educators for the Idle No More movement, the most significant Indigenous-led social movement in Canadian history, helped to propel Indigenous issues onto the national stage. Together with numerous Indigenous experts, advocates, and leaders across the country, Pam helped people understand the power they have to end social injustice and inspires them to join the movement alongside Indigenous peoples.

A relentless advocate for education, Pam’s personal academic odyssey encompasses an impressive array of four university degrees, culminating in a doctorate in law that focuses on Indigenous rights. Notably serving as Professor and Chair in Indigenous Governance at Toronto Metropolitan University, she has authored over 200 impactful publications concerning Indigenous matters, human rights, and social justice – earning her many awards, including the Top 25 Movers and Shakers, Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers, Most Inspiring Women, and more.

National media outlets such as Chatelaine, Maclean’s Magazine, and The Lawyer’s Daily, along with prominent news channels like CTV, CBC, Global, and APTN, have benefited from her regular contributions and insightful analyses on legal, political, social, and economic issues in Canada and the US. Beyond her media presence, Pam is considered an authority on laws and policies that impact Indigenous peoples, frequently testifying before Parliamentary and Senate committees, as well as numerous United Nations treaty bodies. 

Her distinguished research and groundbreaking recommendations consistently shape the trajectory of societal transformation and helped lead concrete legal and policy change. Her unique expertise has also informed pivotal inquiries and commissions, like the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the Nova Scotia Mass Casualty Commission. 

Pam Palmater is an unwavering defender of Indigenous rights and social justice who inspires people all over the world to embrace their roles as allies, supporters, and partners in leading social change. She leaves her audiences with a passion to ignite their minds through education, so they can empower themselves and others to transform society. By working together, we can fuel social change and positively impact future generations. Many organizations have also benefited from Pam’s advice, strategies, and professional training on how to engage in reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and use their spheres of influence to bring about justice for all. 

A beacon of hope and catalyst for change, Pam envisions a future of healthy, safe, and empowered communities, leaving an indelible mark on Indigenous reconciliation and social progress.

Education

Doctor of Laws (JSD) 
Dalhousie University (2009)
Indigenous Law

Master of Laws Degree (LLM)
Dalhousie University (1999)
Indigenous Law

Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB) 
University of New Brunswick (1997)
Fasken Campbell Godfrey Prize in Environmental Law 

Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA)
Saint Thomas University (1994)
Double Major in Native Studies & History

Awards

  • Royal Society of Canada (2023)
    College Member
  • Knowledge Mobilization Award (2022)
    Institute for Research on Public Policy 
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) (2022)
    Dalhousie University
  • Toronto’s Most Inspiring Women (2021)
    Streets of Toronto
  • 100 Most Influential People in 2021 in Government & Politics (2021)
    The Hill Times – Power Players
  • Liberty Award for Excellence in Legal Advocacy (2018)
    BC Civil Liberties Association
  • Power List: Top 25 Most Influential Movers & Shakers (2017)
    Financial Post Magazine
  • Award for Excellence in Human Rights (2017)
    Atlantic Human Rights Centre
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) (2017)
    University of New Brunswick
  • Margaret Mead Award in Social Justice (2016)
    International Community Corrections Association
  • Woman of Excellence (2016) 
    J.S. Woodsworth Awards for Human Rights & Equity
  • UNB Alumni Award of Distinction (2015)
    University of New Brunswick 
  • Building a Better World Designation: Nation-Builder (2014)
    Dalhousie University
  • Canada’s Top Visionary Women Leaders: Top 23 (2014)
    A Bold Vision
  • Top 25 Most Influential Lawyer: Top 5 in Human Rights (2013)
    Canadian Lawyer Magazine
  • Bertha Wilson Honour Society (2012) (Inaugural Inductee)
    Dalhousie Law School
  • Women’s Courage Award in Social Justice (2012)
    Endless Possibilities & Hope 
  • Woman of Distinction Award in Social Justice (2012)
    YWCA
Pam receiving an award.