Shirley-Pat Chamberlain

Shirley-Pat Chamberlain
Shirley-Pat Chamberlain
Canadian Studies
George Square Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
Canada, citizenship, abjection, civil society, civil society organizations, social citizenship, Indigenous Peoples, place, space, power, Ethnicity & 'race', class, critical theory, interrelation, decolonization, marginalization, Gender, settler colonialism


Professor Alisa Henderson 

Professor Akwugo Emejulu (Univeristy of Warwick)

A Indigenous Intersectional-based Comparative Case Study of the Role of Civil Society Organizations in Indigenous Social Citizenship Processes in Canadian Civil Society

I studied at the University of Victoria and my Masters in Education focused on the phenomenon of whistleblowing. This research combined with my professional community development work and volunteer work through Rotary International with rural and often marginalized Indigenous communities in British Columbia, Canada has led me to acknowledge my privilege in Canadian society as a mix raced individual raised within the settler community and motivated me to pursue social justice activism and a PhD in Canadian Studies at the University of Edinburgh. The proposed study applies theories of citizenship, indigeneity, abjection or marginalization and civil society to explore the role of civil society organizations in the processes of Indigenous social citizenship within British Columbia and Yukon, Canada. The initial premise is that Canada portrayed as an inclusive liberal multicultural open welfare state is incorrect and misleading. The stark reality of Indigenous peoples lived experience in Canada, a history of hundreds of years of abjection politically, legally and socially has forced me to view my country from both a colonizer and colonized perspective. The hegemonic view of Canada as a pluralistic liberal multicultural state requires re-problematizing as there are dual pieces of governing legislation, the Indian Act and the Canadian Constitution that divide citizens within Canada based solely on a question of ‘status’ or race. This dualism creates spaces of abjection or limited spaces of rights inclusion as citizenship becomes a political, legal and social reality based solely on race or status not on principles of indigeneity.   In order to explore this dualism,  my doctoral research investigates what role Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) play in Indigenous individuals, groups or communities social citizenship processes and practices through an Indigenous intersectional-based comparative case study. The objective of my research is to investigate what these potential sites of interaction tell us about the perception and reality of the roles and agency in the lived experiences of processes of social citizenship. 


Master of Education–Leadership Studies, 2007, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia. Canada

Bachelor of Arts–Double Major: History & Classical Studies – Languages and Linguistics, 2000, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec. Canada


2014/2015 Funding for my PhD is supported by a joint grant with the community of Tl’esqox (Toosey Indian Band) from the Government of Canada’s Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.


Graduate Research:

Gale, S.P. (2007). “The ontological, axiological and epistemological foundations of whistleblowing: A Discourse of will to power”. University of Victoria: Victoria, BC.

Other Publications (Selective):

Montoya, C.P., Landolfi, E., Winkelman, M., Chamberlain, S.P., Fisch, K., and Wright, M. D.(2013). Olympic Year Impact on Leisure-time Physical Activity Rates With-in and Across Canadian Provinces and Territories, Journal of Physical Culture, Sports Sciences and Physical Fitness, 67(2): 143-147.

Ross, R., Gale, S. P., Curtis, H. & Montoya C. P. (2011). Early Childhood Development andCulturally Sensitive Child Care, Position paper prepared for the Cariboo-Chilcotin Métis Association, June 01, 2011.  

Montoya, N. L., Montoya, D.E., Gale, S. P., & Montoya, C. P., (2009), “Ethical and LegalDilemmas Surrounding Bio-   banking”, 3rd Global Conference on Evil, Law and the State: Issues in State Power and Violence, Paper Read in Salzburg Austria, March 2009 at the Interface:  (peer-blind review). 

Gale, S.P. & Striegler, J. (2009), “Bridging the cultural gap: An example of one-to-one adult literacy philosophy employed through the PAL programme. Presentation for the 2009 ABEABC Conference on Culturalizing the Curriculum in Prince George, BC, Canada.

Work Experience (Selective):

Independent Consultant, 2014-present

Sessional Instructor, University of Northern British Columbia 2008-present

Grants Officer, Thompson Rivers University 2011-2013

Sessional Instructor, Thompson Rivers University 2007-2014