Sherry Pictou

Assistant Professor of Law and Management; Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Governance (Tier 2)

Phone: (902) 494-4092
Mailing Address: 
Room 323, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Mi’kmaw & Indigenous Land and Water-Based Governance
  • Indigenous Food Systems
  • Indigenous Women’s Political Life
  • Rights and Activism
  • Treaty Relations and Rights
  • Mi’kmaw & Indigenous Land-Based Learning Practices
  • Decolonization & Resurgence
  • Multi-scalar Indigenous Peoples’ Movements
  • Indigenous & Small-Scale Fisheries Movements


  • BA (Saint Mary's)
  • BEd (Mount Allison)
  • MA (Dalhousie)
  • PhD (Dalhousie)


Dr. Sherry Pictou is a Mi’kmaw woman from L’sɨtkuk (water cuts through high rocks) known as Bear River First Nation, Nova Scotia.  She worked as an Assistant Professor in the Women’s Studies Department at Mount Saint Vincent University with a focus on Indigenous Feminism (2017-2020). She is also a former Chief for her community and the former Co-Chair of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples. She is a member of the IPBES Task Force on Indigenous and Local Knowledge. Her research interests include decolonizing treaty relations, Social Justice for Indigenous Women, Indigenous women’s role in food and lifeways, and Indigenous knowledge and food systems.

Current Research

Dr. Pictou currently holds a SSHRC Partnership Grant in Partnership with KAIROS Building Indigenous-Academic-Not-for-Profit Relations for Mobilizing Research Knowledge on the Gendered Impacts of Resource Extraction in Indigenous Communities in Canada.

Pictou, S. and KAIROS (2019). Mother Earth Resource Extraction (MERE) Hub. Scalar. 

Selected publications & works

Book Chapters

Brady, J., Parker, B., Pictou, S., and Robin, T. (Forthcoming 2021).  Pestiewink/Wihokewin: Invitation to Indigenous and Intersectional Feminist Food Studies. Critical Perspectives in Food Studies (Third Edition). Oxford University Press.

Pictou, S. (Forthcoming 2020). “¿Qué es la descolonización? Concepciones Relacionales y Ancestrales Mi’kmaw y Perspectivas Antropológicas sobre las Relaciones de Tratados.” In Rosalva Aída Hernández Castillo, Suzie Hutchings & Brian Noble (Eds.), Diálogos Transcontinentales. Alianzas Activistas con los Pueblos Indígenas de Cañada, Mexico y Australia. Oaxaca, Mexico: International Working Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)/ Center for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESA)/ Pochote Press.

Pictou, S. (2019). “What is Decolonization? Mi’kmaw Ancestral Relational Understandings and Anthropological Perspectives on Treaty Relations.” In Rosalva Aída Hernández Castillo, Suzie Hutchings & Brian Noble (Eds.), Transcontinental Dialogues. Activist Research and Alliances from and with Indigenous Peoples of Canada, Mexico and Australia. Tucson:  University of Arizona Press (pp. 37-64).

Pictou, S. (2019). “Beginnings and Renewal, Oppression and Fragmentation.” [Opening Chapter] In KellyAnne Malinen (Ed), Dis/Consent: Perspectives on Sexual Violence and Consensuality, Halifax & Winnipeg, Fernwood Publishing (pp.18-30).

Pictou, S. (2019). “Survival and Resurgence.” [Closing Chapter] In KellyAnne (Ed), Dis/Consent: Perspectives on Sexual Violence and Consensuality, Halifax & Winnipeg, Fernwood Publishing (pp. 155-167).

Stiegman, M. and S. Pictou (2016). (Updated).  “Resource Privatization, Treaty Rights Recognition and Community Resistance in Maritime Canada.” In K. Burnett & G. Read (Eds.), Aboriginal History: A Reader (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press, (pp. 226–242).


Pictou S. (2020). Decolonizing Decolonization: An Indigenous Feminist Perspective on the Recognition and Rights Framework. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 April 2020; 119 (2): 371–391. doi:

Von der Porton, S., Cisneros, A., Ota, Y., and Pictou, S. (2019). The Role of Indigenous Resurgence in Marine Conservation, Coastal Management, 47:6, 527-547,

Pictou, S. (2018). “The Origins and Politics, Campaigns and Demands by the International Fisher Peoples’ Movement:  An Indigenous Perspective.”  Special Issue: “Converging Social Justice Issues and Movements”, Guest editors: Tsegaye Moreda, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Alberto Alonso-Fradejas, Zoe W. Brent, Third World Quarterly 2018, 39(7): pp. 1411-1420.

Pictou, S. (2015). “Small t-treaty Relationships without Borders.” Anthropologica. [Journal of the Canadian Anthropological Society / La Société Canadienne d’Anthropologie].  November 2015, 57(2): pp. 457-467.

Documentary Films

Stiegman, M. & Pictou, S. (2016). We Story the Land. (Co-Director). 

Stiegman, M. & Pictou, S. (2007). In Defense of our Treaties (Co-Producer) for In the Same Boat (Film Documentary), Dir. Martha Stiegman. <>

Service & Activity

  • 2019 Research Advisory Committee for the Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre (MDCC), Debert, Nova Scotia. 
  • 2019 Enrollment Committee for Wula Na Kinu (This Is Who We Are)
  • 2019-2022. Indigenous Local Knowledge Task Force for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy
  • Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), UNESCO.
  • 2017-present Member, Native American Indigenous Studies
  • 2017-present Member, Canadian Association of Food Studies
  • 2016-present. SSHRC Indigenous Advisory Circle, Implementation TRC Call to action 65.
  • 2014-2016 Aboriginal Research Advisory Committee for SSHRC's Aboriginal Research Integrated Strategy.
  • 2014-2015-Avisory Committee for Bear River First Nation/Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq: “Matrimonial Real Property Law” for communities.
  • 2006-2014 Co-Chair, Word Forum of Fisher Peoples