About Shiri

Shiri Pasternak is an Assistant Professor in Criminology at X University in Toronto. She is the author of the award-winning book Grounded Authority: the Algonquins of Barriere Lake Against the State, published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2017, about the Algonquins' rejection of the federal land claims policy in Canada from the perspective of Indigenous law and jurisdiction. Pasternak is also the co-founder and former Research Director for the Yellowhead Institute, an Indigenous-led think tank based in the Faculty of Arts at X University. Pasternak is a first-generation, Jewish Torontonian who has been an organizer in movements for affordable housing, Indigenous rights, and prison abolition. 

From 2016-2017, she held a post as Assistant Professor in the School for the Study of Canada at Trent University. She held a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at Osgoode Law (2015-2016) and in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia University in New York City (2013-2015). She holds a PhD from the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto.

Pasternak has been a founding member and participant in a number of community organizations over the past two decades. These include Barriere Lake Solidarity, the Defenders of the Land network, Toronto Abolition Convergence, and the Anti Colonial Committee of the Law Union of OntarioHer public writing appears in newspaper like the Guardian, Globe and Mail and Toronto Star, as well as independent journals like The Narwhal and Policy Options. Her work has also been published in a number of books and academic journals, including Antipode, Settler Colonial Studies, the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, and Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.

Her current research interests involves studying the risk of Indigenous rights in the natural resource extraction economy. She was a Principal Investigator with scholars at York University and Carleton University, as well as community partners Mining Watch and the Indigenous Network in Economies and Trade, in a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant called, “Reconciling Sovereignties: New Techniques for ‘Authorizing’ Extraction on Indigenous Territories.” She is now a Co-Investigator on two collaborative SSHRC grants that pilot projects on Indigenous jurisdiction and infrastructure.

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