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Shiri Pasternak

Shiri Pasternak


PhD, Assistant Professor


JOR 823


416-979-5000 ext. 543507


Shiri Pasternak is Assistant Professor in Criminology at Ryerson University in Toronto. She joined the faculty in July 2017. She is the author of Grounded Authority: the Algonquins of Barriere Lake Against the State, published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2017.

Shiri received her PhD from the Department of Planning and Geography at the University of Toronto in 2013. She then 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). From 2016-2017, she held a post as Assistant Professor in the School for the Study of Canada at Trent University.

Shiri teaches courses in the Indigenous Justice stream and her research interests involve interdisciplinary approaches to Indigenous jurisdiction, resource economies, and Crown-First Nations’ relations. She publishes in the fields of legal and historical geography, settler colonial studies, political economy, and critical legal studies.



Research Interests:

Her current research interests involves studying the risk of Indigenous rights in the natural resource extraction economy. She is a Principle 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.”

Selected Publications:


Pasternak, S. Grounded Authority: The Algonquins of Barriere Lake Against the State. University of Minnesota Press, May 2017 [Winner, Western Political Science Association's Clay Morgan Award for Best Book in Environmental Political Theory, 2018; Honourable Mention, Charles Taylor Book Award, American Political Science Association, 2018; Honourable Mention, Association of Anthropology and Legal Association Book Prize, 2018; Winner, Canadian Studies Network Best Book 2017; Nominated, First Book Award, Native and Indigenous Studies Association, 2017].

Refereed Journal Articles

Pasternak, S. and T. Dafnos, “How does a settler state secure the circuitry of capital?” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 36:4 (2018): 739–757. DOI: [Editor’s Choice Collection, 50th anniversary of Environment and Planning Journals]

Pasternak, S. “The Fiscal Body of Sovereignty: To ‘Make Live’ in Indian Country,” Settler Colonial Studies 6:4 (2015), 1-22. DOI:

Pasternak, S. “How Capitalism will Save Colonialism: The Privatization of Reserve Lands in Canada,” Antipode 47:1 (2015), 179–196. DOI:

Pasternak, S. “Jurisdiction and Settler Colonialism: Where Do Laws Meet,” Special Issue: Law & Decolonization, Canadian Journal of Law and Society 29:2 (2014): 145-161. DOI:

Pasternak, S., Sue Collis, Tia Dafnos, “Criminalization at Tyendinaga: Securing Canada’s Colonial Property Regime through Specific Land Claims,” Canadian Journal of Law and Society 28:1 (May 2013): 65-81. [2014 Canadian Law & Society Article Prize] DOI:

Pasternak, S. and David Wachsmuth, “Use It or Lose It: Toronto’s ‘Use It or Lose It’ Campaign for Affordable Housing,” Critical Planning Journal 15 (2008), 7-22. [Edward Soja Prize for Best Essay]

Book Chapters

Pasternak, S. Mazer, K., Cochrane, T. “The Financing Problem of Colonialism: How Indigenous Jurisdiction is Valued in Pipeline Politics,” #NoDAPL and Mni Wiconi: Reflections on Standing Rock, ed. Jaskiran Dhillon and Nick Estes, University of Minnesota Press. Forthcoming Fall 2018.

Pasternak, S. “Blockade: A Meeting Place of Law.” Whose Land is it Anyway? A Manuel for Decolonization, ed. Peter McFarlane and Nicole Schabus, Federation of Post- Secondary Educators of BC, 2017.

Pasternak, S. “Property as a Technique of Jurisdiction.” Contested Property Claims: What disagreement tells us about ownership, Mikkel Thorup, Maja Hojer Bruun, Bjarke Skærlund Risager & Patrick Cockburn, eds. (New York: Routledge), 2018.

Pasternak, S. “A Tale of Vision and Violence: The Algonquins of Barriere Lake, the Trilateral Agreement, and the Land Claims Policy.” Aboriginal History: A Reader, 2nd Edition, Kristin Burnett and Geoff Read, eds., (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2016).

Pasternak, S. “Occupy(ed) Canada: The Political Economy of Indigenous Dispossession.” The Winter We Danced, The Kino-nda-niimi Collective, eds. (Winnipeg, MB: ARP Books, 2014).

Pasternak, S. “‘Canada Can’t Hide Genocide’: June 24 Day of Action for Indigenous Rights.” Drift & Surge, Root & Thorn: Travels in the Radical Midwest, Compass Collaborators, eds. (Michigan: White Wire, 2012).

Pasternak, S., Lorenzo Magzul and Nancy Turner, “Born from Bears and Corn: Why Indigenous Knowledge Matters in the Debate about Genetically Engineered Food.” Gene Taboos: Religious Attitudes to Genetically Modified Food, Harold Coward and Conrad Brunk, eds. (New York: SUNY Press, 2009).

Policy Reports

Manuel, K. and Pasternak, S. “We Own It So Let’s Kill It: What to do about Kinder Morgan in an Era of Reconciliation,” Yellowhead Policy Brief. Issue 06, July 18, 2018.

Pasternak, S. “The gaping holes in Ottawa’s Indigenous fiscal policy,” Policy Options, Institute for Research on Public Policy, July 10, 2018.

King, H. and Pasternak, S. “Canada’s Emerging Indigenous Right’s Framework: A Critical Analysis.” Yellowhead Special Report. Toronto: Ryerson University, June 2018.

Pasternak, S., D.T. Cochrane, N. Schabus, “Standing Rock of the North: A Summary Risk Assessment of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion,” Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade, June 2017.


Cowen, D. and S. Pasternak, “Trans Mountain pipeline another colonial project asserting jurisdiction over Indigenous lands,” Toronto Star, April 24, 2018.

Pasternak, S. “#DeedsNotWords: A National Day of Water Protection Solidarity North of the Medicine Line,” Cultural Anthropology (Dec. 2016).

Dafnos, T. and Pasternak, S. “The Criminalization of Aboriginal Protests in Recent History and the Implications for Sovereignty Summer.” For the Defence: Criminal Lawyers’ Association Newsletter 34:3 (August 2013): 15-23.

Pasternak, S. Part 3 of 3: Resistance 150: Unsettling Canada’s Hidden Economic Apartheid, “Mercenary Colonialism: Third-Party Management,” October 25, 2017.

Pasternak, S. Part 2 of 3: Resistance 150: Unsettling Canada’s Hidden Economic Apartheid, “Transfer payments impose permanent austerity on Indigenous communities,” Ricochet, June 28, 2017.

Pasternak, S. Part 1 of 3: Resistance 150: Unsettling Canada’s Hidden Economic Apartheid, “Arthur Manuel’s battle against the 0.2 per cent Indigenous economy,” June 14, 2017.

Pasternak, S. “Starve or Submit: How one First Nation remains in servitude to a private accounting firm,” Ricochet, April 7, 2017.

Pasternak, S. and A. Stanley, “Federal budget could mark end of duty to consult with First Nations,” Ricochet, June 3, 2015.

Pasternak, S. “Fiscal Brutality and Permanent Austerity: How Canada Controls First Nations,” First Nations Strategic Bulletin, Nov.-Dec. 2014.

Pasternak, S. “The Wars at Home: What State Surveillance of an Indigenous Rights Campaigner Tells Us About Real Risk in Canada,” Desmog Blog, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014.

Pasternak, S. and R. Diabo, “Harper v. First Nations: The Assimilation Agenda,” Ricochet, October 21, 2014.

Peerla, D. and Pasternak, S. “First Nations social contracts: How to contain an aboriginal rebellion,” Opinion, CBC News, May 30, 2014.

Pasternak, S. “First Nations’ Remarkable Legal Winning Streak,” [Review of “Resource Rulers”] The Tyee, April 4, 2014.                             

Lukacs, M. and Pasternak, S. “Aboriginal rights a threat to Canada's resource agenda, documents reveal,” The Guardian, March 2, 2014.

Pasternak, S. “The Economics of Insurgency: Thoughts on Idle No More and Critical Infrastructure.”, Jan. 14, 2013.


Pasternak, S. “Occupy(ed) Canada: The Political Economy of Indigenous Dispossession.”, October 20, 2011.

Diabo, R., Pasternak, S. “First Nations Under Surveillance: Harper Government Prepares for Native Unrest.” First Nations Strategic Bulletin 9: 1-5, Jan-May 2011.


Pasternak, Shiri