Genocide, Pandemics and Indigenous Peoples: Human Rights
The crisis-level socio-economic conditions of many Indigenous peoples in Canada that have their roots in historic and ongoing genocide. These conditions, that have been created and maintained by successive state governments since contact, make Indigenous peoples more vulnerable in outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics. The current worldwide pandemic continues to present a significant risk to Indigenous peoples and requires targeted state measures – grounded in a human rights framework – to address both genocide and the pandemic simultaneously.
Biography and Background to Dr. Palmater’s Lecture:
Dr. Pamela Palmater is a Mi’kmaw lawyer, professor, author, and social justice activist from Eel River Bar First Nation in New Brunswick. A practicing lawyer for 22 years, Pam has been volunteering and working in First Nation issues for over 30 years on a wide range of issues, including socio-economic conditions, Aboriginal and treaty rights, and legislation impacting First Nations. Her books, Warrior Life: Indigenous Resistance and Resurgence, Indigenous Nationhood: Empowering Grassroots Citizens and Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity, together with her other publications focus on Indigenous law, politics, and governance and the importance of native sovereignty and nation-building.
Pam was one of the spokespeople and public educators for the Idle No More movement and advocates alongside other movements focusing on social justice and human rights. She is frequently called as a legal expert before Parliamentary, Senate and United Nations committees dealing with laws and policies impacting Indigenous peoples. Her current research focuses on racism, abuse and sexualized violence against Indigenous women and girls and its contribution to the crisis of murdered, missing, traded, and exploited 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 Lawyers 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, 2012 Women’s Courage Award in Social Justice, and the Margaret Mead Award in Social Justice 2016, to name a few.