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McGregor, Deborah


McGregor, Deborah

Associate Professor

Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice

PhD Forestry , University of Toronto
Masters Environmental Studies , York University
BSc Psychology , University of Toronto

Indigenous environmental justice Indigenous governance Sustainability Water Governance Indigenous intellectual traditions

My research, broadly speaking, is in the area of Aboriginal environmental and resource management and governance. The approach I take is interdisciplinary, and includes such topics as: environmental justice, health, traditional ecological knowledge, water quality, environmental assessment, sustainability, sustainable forest management, environmental planning, and Indigenous knowledge systems.

My research focus has for the last few years centred on four areas: Indigenous knowledges in an urban context; Indigenous knowledge and environmental justice; Indigenous perspectives on water quality/quantity with a focus on gender; and Indigenous research approaches. 

A core aspect of my work involves combining research and teaching in areas such as Indigenous governance and justice, Indigenous knowledge systems, Indigenous pedagogies and research approaches.



Indigenous Knowledge Transfer in Urban Aboriginal Communities. Insight Grants. Social Science and Humanities Research Council. Co-applicant with Kim Anderson (Principal Investigator), Wilfred Laurier University. Co-applicants: Bonita Lawrence (York University), Sylvia Maracle (Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centers (OFIFC), Magdalena Smolewski (Royal Roads University). Four Years, $329,000. Awarded April 2014. Maple Syrup, Climate Change and Resilience: A Longitudinal Study. Insight Grants. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Co-applicant with Dr. Brenda Murphy, Wilfred Laurier University. Five years, $380 542. Awarded April 2012. Exploring Distinct Indigenous Knowledge Systems to Inform Fisheries Governance and Management on Canada’s Coasts. Partnerships Grants. Co-applicant with Lucia Fanning (Principal Investigator), Dalhousie University. Co-Applicants, Daniel Pujdak (Assembly of First Nations), Christopher Miley (Dalhousie), Stephen Crawford (Guelph University), Jeji Varghese (Guelph University), Grant Murray (Vancouver Island University). Five Years, $1 997 900. Awarded April 2012. Nuclear Energy and Waste Management Training for First Nations in Ontario Land Aboriginal Action Fund. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Principal Investigator. Chiefs of Ontario. One year, $30 000. Awarded October 2011. Manajiwnim: Respecting Tribes, First Nations and Cultural Resources in Cooperative Landscape and Climate Change Decision Making. Co-applicant with Peggy Smith (Lakehead University), Kyle Whyte (Michigan State University), and Nicholas Reo (Principal Investigator, University of Michigan). Upper Midwest/Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. One year, $70 000. Awarded 2011.


  • Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) Indigenous Environmental Justice
  • Recognition of Achievement, Whitefish River First Nation, Birch Island
  • Outstanding Aboriginal Graduate, Great Minds Communication Program, University of Toronto
  • Fellow, McLaughlin College, York University
  • Featured Indigenous Scientist, Question of Truth Exhibit, Ontario Science Centre

Selected Publications



McGregor, D. forthcoming. Indigenous Women, Water Justice and Zaagidowin (Love). Women and Water. Special Issue. Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme. (4,500 words)

Nelson, S. McGregor, D.  2015. Decolonizing the discipline: Questions and methods in Indigenous Geography.  Canadian Journal of Native Education. 37 (1): 105-121.

McGregor. D. 2014. Lessons for Collaboration Involving Traditional Knowledge and Environmental Governance in Ontario, Canada. AlterNATIVE.  An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples. 10 (4): 340-353.

McGregor. D. 2014. Traditional Knowledge and Water Governance: the Ethic of Responsibility. AlterNATIVE.  An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples. Special Issue: Indigenous Knowledges Impacting the Environment. 10 (5): 493-507.

McGregor, D. 2012. Traditional Knowledge: Considerations for Protecting Water in Ontario. Special Issue on Water and Indigenous Peoples.  The International Indigenous Policy Journal.  3 (3). http://www.iipj.org/.

Cave, K, General, P., Johnston, J., May, B., McGregor, D., Plummer, R., Wilson, P. 2011. The Power of Participatory Dialogue: Why Talking About Climate Change Matters. Indigenous Policy Journal 22(13). 10pp.

McGregor, D. 2011. Aboriginal/Non-Aboriginal Relations and Sustainable Forest Management in Canada: Ten Years Since the Royal Commission. Journal of Environmental Management 92: 3000-3010.

McGregor, D. Bayha, W., Simmons, D. 2010.  Our Responsibility to Keep the Land Alive: Voices of northern Indigenous researchers. Pimatziwin Journal: A Journal of Aboriginal and Indigenous Community Health 8(1):101-123.

McGregor, 2010. The Earth Keepers Solid Waste Management Planning Program: a Collaborative Approach to Utilizing Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge and Western Science in Ontario. The International Journal of Canadian Studies. Les représentations des Premières nations et des Métis/Representations of First Nations and Métis (2010.1). No. 41 : 69-98.

McGregor. D. 2009. Linking Traditional Knowledge and Environmental Practice in Canada. Journal of Canadian Studies 43(3):69-100.

McGregor, D. 2008. Linking Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Western Science: Aboriginal Perspectives on SOLEC. Canadian Journal of Native Studies 28(1):139-158.

McGregor, D. 2008. Anishnabe Kwe, Traditional Knowledge and Water Protection. Special Edition. Canadian Women's Studies/les cahiers de la femme. Indigenous Women in Canada: The Voices of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Women 26(3/4):26-30.

McGregor, D.  2006.  Aboriginal Involvement in Ontario Sustainable Forest Management: Moving Toward Collaboration.  Recherches Amerindiennes au Quebec 36(2/3):61-70

McGregor, D. 2005. Linking Transformation and Re-Creation: Creating Spaces for Indigenous Theorising in Canadian Aboriginal Studies Programs. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education 34:67-78.

McGregor, D. 2005. Traditional Ecological Knowledge: An Anishinabe-Kwe Perspective. Atlantis Women’s Studies Journal 29(2):103-109.

McGregor, D. 2004. Coming Full Circle: Indigenous Knowledge, Environment and Our Future. American Indian Quarterly 28(3/4):385-410.

Puttock, D., McGregor, D., and Bevilacqua, E. 2000. Forest Management Planning Strategy for BioEnergy in Remote Aboriginal Communities in Canada. New Zealand Journal of Forest Science 30(1/2):54-66.


McGregor. D. forthcoming. Aboriginal Peoples in Canada and the Environment. In: D. Long (ed).  Visions of the Heart: Canadian Aboriginal Issues. Harcourt Brace Canada (13,000 words).

McGregor, D. forthcoming. Living well with the Earth: Indigenous Rights and Environment. In Handbook of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights.  Lennox, C. and Short, D. (eds.). Routledge, Taylor and Francis. (6,400 words).

McGregor, D. 2014. Indigenous Knowledge. In: D. Rowe (ed.). Achieving Sustainability: Visions, Principles, and Practices. Vol. 2. Cengage Publishing. Macmillan Reference USA. pp. 471-474.

McGregor, D. 2013. Towards a Paradigm of Indigenous-Non-Indigenous Collaboration in Geographic Research. In: A Deeper Sense of Place:  Stories and Journeys of Indigenous-Academic Collaboration. Johnston, J., Larson, S. (eds). Oregon State University Press.  pp157-178.

McGregor. D. 2013. Representing and Mapping Traditional Knowledge in Ontario’s Forest Management Planning.  In: Jojola, T., Natcher, D., and Walker, R. (eds.).  Reclaiming Indigenous Planning.  McGill-Queen's University Press. pp. 414-435.

McGregor, D. 2013.  Anishinaabe Environmental Knowledge. In: Contemporary Studies in Environmental and Indigenous Pedagogies: A Curricula of Stories and Place. Kulnieks, A., Longboat, D., Young, K. (eds).  Sense Publishers. Rotterdam, The Netherlands. pp. 77-88.

Trosper, R., Clark, F., Gerez-Fernandez, P., Lake, F., McGregor, D., Peters, C., Purata, S., Ryan, T., Thomson, A., Watson, A., Wyatt, S.  2012. North America. In: Trosper, R., and Parrottak, J. (eds.). Traditional Forest-Related Knowledge: Sustaining Communities, Ecosystem and Biocultural Diversity. Springer Publishing, USA. pp. 157-202.

McGregor, D. 2010. Traditional Knowledge, Sustainable Forest Management, and Ethical Research Involving Aboriginal Peoples: An Aboriginal Scholars Perspective. In: White, J., Peters, J., Beavon, D., and Dinsdale, P. (eds.).  Voting, Governance and Research Methodology. Aboriginal Policy Research Volume 10. Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Toronto, ON. pp. 227-243.

McGregor, D.  2010. Aboriginal Values Mapping in Ontario’s Forest Management Planning Process. In: Stevenson, M. and Natcher, D. (eds.). Planning Co-existence: Aboriginal Perspectives and Considerations in Land Use Planning. Canadian Institute Circumpolar Institute Press. University of Alberta.  pp. 199-223.

Blaser, M., De Costa, R., McGregor, D., Coleman, W. 2010. Reconfiguring the Web of Life: Indigenous Peoples, Relationality and Globalization. In: Blaser, M., De Costa, R., McGregor, D., and Coleman, W. (eds.). Indigenous Peoples and Autonomy: Insights for a Global Age. UBC Press, Vancouver, BC. pp.1-23.

McGregor, D. 2009. Honouring Our Relations: An Anishinabe Perspective on Environmental Justice. In: Agyeman, J., Haluza-Delay, R., Peter, C., and O’Riley, P. (eds.). Speaking for Ourselves: Constructions of Environmental Justice in Canada.  University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, BC. pp. 27-41.

McGregor, D. 2004. Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Sustainable Development: Towards Co-existence. In: Blaser, M., Feit, H., and McRae, G. (eds). In the Way of Development: Indigenous Peoples, Life Projects and Globalization. Zed Books, New York, NY; International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, ON. pp. 72-91.



Blaser, M., De Costa, R.,  McGregor, D., Coleman, W. (eds.). 2010. Indigenous Peoples and Autonomy: Insights for a Global Age. UBC Press, Vancouver, BC. 312 pp.


Indigenous Environmental Justice:  Exploring the Potential for a Canadian Framework. CINSA (Canadian Indigenous/Native Studies Association), 2015 Conference Proceedings. Hele, K. (ed). Concordia University.

Towards an Anishinabe Research Paradigm: Theory and Practice.  In: Contexts of Indigenous Research. Johnston, R. and Restoule, J.P. (eds.). Wilfred Laurier Press.

Seven Principles for Indigenous Partnerships in Landscape-scale Conservation" by Reo, Nicholas; Whyte, Kyle; McGregor, Deborah; Smith, M.A. (Peggy); Jenkins, James. Submitted to Conservation Biology.
The role of Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Collaborative Environmental Governance.  Journal of Canadian Studies: Co-Authors: Suzanne von der Porten, Rob de Loë, Deb McGregor.