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Gerald Taiaiake Alfred

Gerald Taiaiake Alfred

Mohawk, Bear Clan

Alfred is a scholar, writer and outspoken activist on issues ranging from assimilation to the environmental destruction of Aboriginal lands. Currently he is a Professor of Indigenous Governance (IGOV) in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, where he specializes in studies of traditional governance, the restoration of land-based traditional practices, and decolonization strategies. Alfred is the founding director of the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria, the world’s first graduate program to offer a Masters of Arts and a Ph.D. in Indigenous Governance.

He is a prominent Indigenous intellectual and advisor to many First Nation governments and organizations. He has been awarded a Canada Research Chair, a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the field of education, and the Native American Journalists Association award for best column writing. Author of the groundbreaking Peace, Power, Righteousness: An Indigenous Manifesto (1999)-- he also spent a number of years as a researcher, writer, negotiator and advisor for First Nations governments in land claims and self-government processes.

Alfred’s current research involves studying the effects of environmental contamination on Indigenous cultural practices, with a special focus on the Mohawk community of Akwesasne. In the context of the United States' Natural Resources Damages Assessment process, he works as a consultant with a number of Indigenous communities to assess cultural injury due to industrial and nuclear contamination of the natural environment, and to design land-based cultural restoration plans. His previous research and consulting work centered on retraditionalization, structural reform, and leadership training for First Nations governments and organizations.