Photo of Carmen Robertson

Carmen Robertson

Full Professor/Canada Research Chair

Carmen Robertson is the Canada Research Chair in North American Indigenous Visual and Material Culture in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences jointly appointed between the School for Studies in Art and Culture, the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies, and the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art, and Culture. A Scots-Lakota professor of art history, her research centers around contemporary Indigenous arts and constructions of Indigeneity in popular culture. Before joining Carleton, she taught at University of Regina and First Nations University of Canada in Saskatchewan for seventeen years.

In 2016, Robertson published both Norval Morrisseau: Art and Life (Art Canada Institute) and Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau: Art and the Colonial Narrative in the Canadian Media (University of Manitoba Press). Her essays have been published in such scholarly journals as American Indian Quarterly, the Journal of Canadian Art History, Media History, Canadian Art Review (RACAR), Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, and Third Text. Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers (University of Manitoba Press, 2011), which Robertson co-authored with Mark Cronlund Anderson, has elicited awards and favourable reviews by both scholars and non-academics.

Robertson sits on the editorial board of The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education and RACAR and holds memberships in a number of scholarly associations. She is a member of the Board of Governors for the Social Science and Humanities Council and the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society. She also maintains an independent curatorial practice. She recently guest curated the Dana Claxton: The Sioux Project—Tatanka Oyate exhibition and symposium at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK (2017-18).

Robertson’s teaching is concentrated in contemporary Indigenous art history and curatorial studies. She is an advocate of hands-on, experiential learning and has led study trips to Peru as well as to galleries and museums to provide students with learning opportunities beyond the classroom setting.

Monographs and Books

Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau: Art and the Colonial Narrative in the Canadian Media. Monograph. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2016.

Norval Morrisseau: Life and Art. E-book. Toronto: Art Canada Institute, 2016.

co-authored with Mark Cronlund Anderson, Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canada’s Newspapers. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2011.

With Sherry Farrell Racette, Editors. Clearing a Path: New Ways of Seeing Traditional Indigenous Art. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Centre, 2009.

Book Chapters and Essays in Edited Collections

With Mark Anderson, “Creation Stories, Ethnic Cleansing, And Imaginary Indians: A Guide to

Nation Building in Canada.” Viagens Intemporais pelo Saber: Mapas, redes e histórias. Porto, Portugal: CEI, 2017, 367-384. E-book.

“The Beauty of a Story: Toward an Indigenous Art Theory.” The Routledge International Handbook of Intercultural Arts Research. Edited by Burnard, Pam, Liz Mackinlay and Kimberly Powell. 13-28. London: Routledge, 2016.

“Mishomis in Black and White: Reconciling Press Images of an Indigenous Artist” Tecumseh’s Vision: Indigenous Borders After the War of 1812 Edited by McNab, Paul Emile, David     McNab, and Ute Lischke. 109-134. Winnipeg: Aboriginal Issues Press, 2015.

“Grey Owl: Noble Savage Poster Boy,” Overlooking Saskatchewan: Minding the Gap. Edited by Rogers, Randal and Ramsay, Christine. 167-182. Regina: University of Regina Press, 2014.

“Paper Trail: PNIAI Artists in Winnipeg Newspapers, 1966-1977” Seven: Professional Native Indian Artists, Inc. Edited by Lavallee, Michelle. 225-232. Regina: Mackenzie Art Gallery, 2014.

“Telling Stories on Canvas: An Analysis of Norval Morrisseau’s Visual Narratives.” The Memory of Native in Aboriginal, Canadian and American Contexts. Edited by Besson, Francoise,          Claire Omhovere, and Heliane Ventura. 304-316.Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014.

“Indian Princess/Indian ‘Squaw’: Representations of Indigenous Women in Canada’s Printed Press,” Culture and Power: Identity and Identification. Edited by Martin-Albo,
Angel Mateos-Aparicio and Eduardo de Gregorio-Godeo. 129-146. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge  Scholars Publishing, 2013.

“Imaginary Citizens: The White Paper and the Whitewash in the Press,” Narratives of Citizenship:Indigenous and Diasporic Peoples Unsettle the Nation State. Edited by Fleischmann, A,
Van Styvendale & C McCarroll. 233-262. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2011.

“On the Road with Bob,” in Lee-Ann Martin, ed., Bob Boyer: His Life’s Work. 191-209. Regina: MacKenzie Art Gallery, 2008.


Journal Articles

Land and Beaded Identity: Shaping Art Histories of Indigenous Women of the Flatland,” Revue d’art canadienne/Canadian Art Review, Vol. 432, No. 2 (Fall 2017): 13-29.

“Thunderbirds and Concepts of Transformation in the Art of Norval Morrisseau.” Journal of Canadian Art History, vol. 33, 2 (2012): 53-70.

“Utilizing PEARL to Teach Indigenous Art History: A Canadian Example.” Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, vol. 41,1 (2012): 60-66.

“Trickster in the Press” Media History, Vol. 14:1 (2008): 72-93.

“Body Politics: The Art of Norval Morrisseau” Revue d’art canadienne/Canadian Art Review, Vol. 32,1-2 (2007): 70-78.

with Angela Weber. “Teaching Indian Art History: A Conversation about Post-Secondary Indigenous Art Education” Third Text Vol. 21, 3 (2007): 341-356.

with Mark Anderson. “The ‘Bended Elbow News,’Kenora, 1974: How a Small-town Newspaper Promoted Colonialism.” American Indian Quarterly, vol. 31:3 (2007): 410-440.

“The Reel Norval Morrisseau: An Analysis of The National Film Board of Canada’s Paradox of Norval Morrisseau.” International Journal of Learning, Vol. 11. Fall (2005): 315-321.


Book Reviews

Review of French Primitivism and the Ends of Empire, 1947-1975 by Daniel J. Sherman (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011) for Museum Anthropology, 36 (2): 2013.

Review of Radical Human Ecology: Intercultural and Indigenous Approaches by Lewis Williams, Rose Roberts & Alistair McIntosh (eds). Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 42 (1) 2013.

Review of “Our Indian Princes”: Subverting the Stereotype by Nancy M. Mithlo (Washington: SAR Press, 2008) for Canadian Journal of Native Studies, June 2011.

Published Reviews of My Work

Kelm, Mary-Ellen. Review of “Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canada’s Newspapers (2011) in American Historical Review 118, 3 Summer (2013).

Matthew Tegelberg, A Review of Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canada’s Newspapers” 2011) in Canadian Journal of Communication 38,1 (2013).

Callison, Candice. “Enduring Colonialism in Canadian News,” A Review of Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canada’s Newspapers (2011) in Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Literature and Review 212, Spring (2012).

Sinclair, James Niigaanwewidam. “Red Difficult to Find in Black and White: A Review of Seeing Red” Winnipeg Free Press 11 December 2011.

Longman, Mary. Review of “Clearing a Path: New Ways of Seeing Traditional Indigenous Art.” Great Plains Quarterly, 31,2 Spring (2011) 160.

Curatorial Publications

“The Making of a Movement: Chee Chee and Trailbazing Artists of the 1960s and 1970s” Benjamin Chee Chee Exhibition, Temiskaming Art Gallery, Haileysbury, ON, February-     April 2018.

“LAND(scape): Terence Houle: GIVN’R” DAG Volumes: No.1(2012) Edited by Curtis Collins. 45-50.Regina: Regina Public Library, 2012.

“Life Elsewhere: Rachelle Viader Knowles,” Essay. Art Gallery of Regina, Saskatchewan. 2010.

“Somewhere In Between, The Art of Sean Whalley and John Henry Fine Day,” Essay. Estevan: Art Gallery of Estevan, Saskatchewan. 2009.

Real Estate: Ceremonies of Possession” Essay. Regina: Art Gallery of Regina, Saskatchewan. 2007.

“Clearing A Path: Indigenous Traditional Arts in Saskatchewan” Essay. 2005.

“Neal McLeod: Abstraction and Myth” Dunlop Annual Art Series. Edited by Donna Wazwonek. Regina: Dunlop Art Gallery. 2004.

“From Wigwas to Canvas: Generations of Woodland Art,” Mackenzie Art Gallery essay. 2003. Otherspace: 6 Degrees of Exploration,” Exhibition Catalogue, Rosemont Gallery, Regina,           Saskatchewan. 2003.



  • “Dana Claxton:The Sioux Project—Tatanka Oyate” Exhibition and symposium, MacKenzie Art Gallery. September-January 2017-2018, Regina, SK.
  • “Anxieties” Art Gallery of Regina. December 2016-February 2017, Regina, SK.
  • “Cherished Things” Co-curation of exhibition with Dr. Farrell Racette. July, 2010. Harbourfront Gallery, Toronto, Ontario.
  • “Clearing A Path: Indigenous Traditional Arts in Saskatchewan” Co-curation of exhibition with Dr. Sherry Farrell Racette. Saskatchewan Arts Board.  Opening November 15, 2005. Exhibition touring until 2009. Re-curated for Cultural Olympiad in Vancouver, BC February 2009, Round House Cultural Centre, Vancouver, BC.
  • “Real Estate: Ceremonies of Possession.”  Art Gallery of Regina, SK. September-October 2007.
  • “From Wigwas to Canvas: Generations of Woodland Art,” Mackenzie Art Gallery Outreach Exhibition and essay. 2003-2005.