Head shot of Sheryl Lightfoot
Currently reviewing Ph.D. applicants
Global Policy Area


    Sheryl Lightfoot is the Russell M. And Elizabeth M. Bennett Chair in Excellence in Public Affairs at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She was the Canada Research Chair in Global Indigenous Rights and Politics at the University of British Columbia (UBC) from 2013 to 2023, and between 2018 and 2023, she served as Senior Advisor to the UBC president on Indigenous Affairs, leading the development and implementation of the Indigenous Strategic Plan across UBC.

    She is currently Chair and North American Member on the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP). She is Anishinaabe, a citizen of the Lake Superior Band of Ojibwe, enrolled at the Keweenaw Bay Community.

    Her research specializes in complex questions of Indigenous peoples ‘rights and how those rights are being claimed and negotiated. Her work explores both practical and theoretical aspects of implementation of Indigenous rights globally as well as in domestic contexts. She is the author of
    Global Indigenous Politics: A Subtle Revolution (2016), co-editor of Indigenous Peoples and Borders(2024) and The Handbook of Indigenous Public Policy (2024) as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters.


    PhD in Political Science (University of Minnesota, 2009)

    MA in Political Science (University of Minnesota, 2007)

    MA in Public Affairs (University of Minnesota, 1994)

    BA in Political Science (Saint Olaf College, 1989)