Photo of Donna Patrick

Donna Patrick

Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Degrees:PhD (Toronto), MA, BA (McGill)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 8070
Office:D770 Loeb Building


Indigeneity in Canada and the Arctic; Urban Aboriginal/Inuit communities; Language, culture, and nationhood; critical literacies; sociology of language; minority languages and multilingualism; endangered languages and language revitalization; language rights and policy; language, political economy, and ideology; language and globalization; sociolinguistics and the intersection of language with culture, politics, race, class, gender, and ethnicity; language practices in institutional settings.


onna Patrick is professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She is currently working on a Partnership Development Grant (2018-2021) “Mobilizing Nipivut (‘Our Voice’): a radio-based communications partnership for urban Inuit” and recently finished co-researching on a SSHRC-funded project entitled: “Out of Place in Nunalijjuaq: Effecting Social Change with Montreal Inuit through Participatory Action Research (PAR)” (2018). She is also a collaborator on the CIHR Project Grant, “Qanuikkat Siqinimiut? A community-based study of southern Quebec Inuit health and wellbeing” (October 2018-September 2022).

Her most recent Arctic-focused research has involved participatory action research with Inuit in Ottawa and Montreal, which explores Inuit identities, life histories, multi-literacies, and the construction of place in transnational contexts through objects, food, stories, and most recently, community radio. Previous research has also included studies in language politics and policy, social semiotics, and critical literacy studies. Other interests lie in the broader area of Indigeneity and urban Aboriginality in Canada; and the political, social, and cultural aspects of language use, with a focus on language endangerment discourse, language revitalization, and Indigenous languages in Canada. Her 2003 book, Language Politics and Social Interaction in an Inuit Community (Mouton de Gruyter), the edited volume, Language Rights and Language Survival (with Jane Freeland, St. Jerome Press) and a number of published articles and papers examine these issues. She also recently co-edited two Special Issues for the Canadian Modern Language Review (CMLR) with Peter Jacobs (SFU) on “Indigenous Language Learning, Teaching, and Identities”, Vol. 73, Issue 4, November 2017 and Vol. 74, Issue 3, August 2018.

Dr. Patrick teaches courses in Language, Culture, and Power, Research Design, and courses that focus on Indigeneity, in Canada and the Arctic. She served as President of the Canadian Anthropology Society/Société canadienne d’anthropologie (CASCA) from May 2015 – May 2018 and the Associate Editor of the Canadian Modern Language Review/La Revue canadienne des langues vivantes (CMLR/RCLV) from March 2015-October 2019. She will start her term as Co-Editor of CMLR/RCLV November 1, 2019, with Daphnée Simard of UQAM. She has also served on numerous thesis boards at Carleton, Université d’Ottawa, and Trent University. Dr. Patrick is currently the Interim Supervisor of Graduate Programs in Northern Studies.

Recent Courses Taught


ANTH 1002B, “Introduction to Issues in Anthropology: Culture and Globalization”
ANTH 4610 “Advanced Studies in Indigenous Peoples of North America: Current Issues in Anthropological Research”


NRTH 5000 “Northern Societies Module”
ANTH 5208 “Anthropology of Indigeneity”
ANTH 5812/ANTH 6002 “Research Design”

Graduate Supervisions


Megan Muller. Addressing the interface between health services: Enhancing continuity in culturally safe care for Nuu-chah-nulth Communities. ABD.

Matthew, Cheryl. November, 2017. The Indigenous Experience and Cultural Renewal, Decolonization, and Transformation in the Ottawa Area.

Kushwaha, Anita. (Geography, Co-supervisor, Fran Klodawsky). May, 2013. The Significance of Nuna (the Land) and Urban Place-making for Inuit living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Neelin, Lyndal. (Canadian Studies, Co-supervisor, Pauline Rankin). December, 2012. The Importance of Being Shawville: The Role of Particularity in Community Resilience.

Tomiak, Julie-Anne. (Canadian Studies, Senate Medal Winner) September 2011. Indigenous Self-Determination, Neoliberalization, and the Right to the City: Rescaling Aboriginal Governance in Ottawa and Winnipeg.


Decontie, Faith. (April 2017). Remembering Why We Sit at the Table.

Sterparn, Julia. (August 2016). (Institute of Political Economy). Agents of change? Inuit Teacher Education programs and Decolonization in Nunavut.

Horn, Kanatase. (May 2013). (Canadian Studies co-supervision with Siomonn Pulla).  Reconfiguring Assimilation: Understanding the First Nations Property Ownership Act in Historical Context. With distinction.

MacLeod, Katie. (April 2013). (Anthropology co-supervision with Siomonn Pulla). Displaced Mixed-Blood: An ethnographic exploration of Métis identities in Nova Scotia.

Levitan, Tyler. (September 2012). (Political Economy co-supervision with Emilie Cameron). Impact and Benefit Agreements in relation to the Neoliberal State: The case of diamond mines in the Northwest Territories.

Dyck, Miranda. (May 2011). The Recognition of Indigenous Rights during the Red Power Movement, (co-supervision with Nahla Abdo).

Adler, Howard. (Fall 2010). A War without Bombs: The Government’s Role in Damming and Flooding of Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation, (co-supervised with Sean Darcy).

Stock, Anthony. (Summer 2010). The Impact of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test on L2 Students.

Georgilas, Stella. [Tsiknis] (Summer 2010). Hellas and Hellenes: An Ethnography of Transnationalism, (co-supervised with Jared Keil).

Cadieux, Daniel. (2009). Linguistic Duality and Endangered Aboriginal Languages: Examining Canadian Language Policy and Discourse. Research Essay.

St-Aubain, Candice. (2009). Children’s Rights: Canada’s Commitment to Aboriginal Children. Research Essay.

Taylor, Briony. (2009) Ideological Literacy and the Sociocultural Practices of the Ottawa Inuit. Research Essay.

Moses, John. (2008, Senate Medal Winner). The Return of the Native (Veteran): Six Nations Troops and Political Change at the Grand River Reserve, 1917-1924, (co-supervised with Paul Litt). Thesis.

Whetung, Valorie. (2008). Statistics Canada and OCAP: Analysis of the problems and suggested solutions or deconstructing OCAP. Research Essay.

Syme, Phillipa. (2007). Specialized Aboriginal Community Internships at the UBC Museum of Anthropology. Research Essay.

Louttit, Stan. (2005, Anthropology). ‘Diabetes and glimpses of a 21st century Eeyou (Cree) culture: local perspectives on diet, body weight, physical activity and ‘being’ Eeyou among an Eeyou youth population of the Eeyou (Cree) nation of Wemindji, Quebec. Thesis.

Edwards, Nicole.  (2005). Self-Governance or Neo-Colonialism: A Conceptual Discussion of Canada’s Self-Government Policy. Research Essay.

Guenette, Christine. (2006). Inuit Law in Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik, The Iqaluit Legal Aid Centre. Research Essay


2019. “Promises, acts, and action: Indigenous language politics in Canada”. In Language Politics and Policies: Perspectives from Canada and the United States, Thomas Ricento (Ed.). Cambridge University Press. Pp 246-264.

2019. “Arctic Languages in the Age of Globalization” In Handbook of Minority Languages and Communities, Gabrielle Hogan-Brun and Bernadette O’Rourke (Eds.). Palgrave Press. Pp. 257-284.

2018. “Indigenizing Language Policy in Canada: Redressing Racial Hierarchies in Language and Education” In Minority languages, national languages and official language policies, Gillian Lane-Mercier, Denise Merkle and Jane Koustas (Eds.). McGill-Queen’s University Press. Pp. 210-227.

2018. “Standardization of Inuit languages in Canada”. (with Kumiko Murasugi and Jeela Palluq-Cloutier) In Lane, P., J. Costa, and H. De Korne eds., Standardizing Minority Languages: Competing Ideologies of Authority and Authenticity in the Global Periphery. New York/London: Routledge, Critical Studies in Multilingualism, pp. 135-153.

2017. “Language and Territorialization: Food consumption and the creation of urban Indigenous space” (with Benjamin Shaer and Gabriele Budach). Semiotic Review 5.

2016. “Indigenizing Language Policy in Canada: Redressing Racial Hierarchies”. In Plurilinguisme et pluriculturalisme. Eds. Gillian Lane-Mercier, Denise Merkle et Jane Koustas. Montréal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal. Pp. 125-138.

2015. “Inuit Language Policy and Education and the Plan Nord: Situating Inuit Policy for Inuit Futures”. In Québec Policy on the Arctic: Challenges and Perspectives. Arctic and International Relations Series. Jackson School of International Studies. University of Washington, Canadian Studies Center. Pp. 46-49.

2015. “Language rights and language endangerment in Canada: The case of Aboriginal languages”. In Language and Identity Politics: A Cross-Atlantic Perspective. Ed. By Christina Spaeti and Damir Skenderovic. Berghahn Books. Pp. 119-136.

2015. “Objects and Language in Trans-contextual Communication”. “Introduction” to Special Issue (co-edited with Gabriele Budach and Catherine Kell,). Social Semiotics 25(4), pp. 387-400.

2015. “’Talk around objects’: Designing trajectories of belonging in an urban Inuit community” (with Gabriele Budach and Teevi Mackay). Social Semiotics 25(4), pp. 446-464.

2015. “Indigenous languages and the racial hierarchisation of language policy in Canada” (with Eve Haque). Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 36(1), pp 27-41.

2014. “Urban-rural dynamics and Indigenous urbanization: The case of Inuit language use in Ottawa” (with Gabriele Budach). Special issue “Deconstructing the urban-rural dichotomy: Language dynamism in Indigenous language contexts”, Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, Volume 13, pp. 236-253.

2013. “Multiliteracies and Family Language Policy in an Urban Inuit Community” (with Gabriele Budach and Igah Muckpaloo). Language Policy. Volume 12 (1), pp. 47-62.

2012. “«Chaque objet raconte une histoire» Les pratiques de littératie auprès des Inuits en milieu urbain with Gabriele Budach. Cahiers de l’Acedle, Volume 9, numéro 2, pp. 85 à 108.

2012. “Indigenous Contexts”, Chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Multilingualism, edited by Marilyn Martin-Jones, Adrian Blackledge and Angela Creese (eds.), Abingdon, UK: Routledge Press, pp. 29-48.

2012. “Indigenous Studies in the Canadian Studies Context”, in Canadian Studies: The State of the Art, ed. by Verduyn, Christl and Jane Koustas. Halifax/Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing. (with Timothy Di Leo Browne and Mallory Whiteduck), pp 224-243.

2011. «Donner une voix aux Inuits urbains: «Photovoice» comme une pratique de multilittératie dans la construction d’identité et de savoirs transfrontaliers» (with Gabriele Budach). Cahiers de L’ILOB Vol. 2, pp. 35-55.

2011. “Regaining the childhood I should have had”: The transformation of Inuit Identities, Institutions and Community in Ottawa” In Howard, Heather and Craig Proulx (eds.) Aboriginal Peoples In Canadian Cities: Transformations and Continuities. (with Julie-Ann Tomiak, Lynda Brown, Heidi Langille, and Mihaela Vieru) Wilfrid Laurier Press, pp. 69-85.

2010. “Canada”. Chapter in the Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity, Second Edition, edited by Joshua Fishman and Ofelia Garcia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 286-301.

2010. “‘Transnational’ Migration and Indigeneity in Canada: A Case of Urban Inuit”. In Indigenous Cosmopolitans: Transnational and Transcultural Indigeneity in the Twenty-First Century, ed. by Maximilian Forte. New York: Peter Lang Publishing. New York, pp. 127-144 (with Julie-Ann Tomiak).

2008. “Language, Culture, and Community among Urban Inuit in Ottawa” Etudes/Inuit/Studies thematic issue on Urban Inuit, 32(1): 55-72, (with Julie-Ann Tomiak).

2008. “Inuit Identities, Language, and Territoriality”. Thematic issue: Plurilinguisme et Identités/Plurilingualism & Identities, Diversité Urbain. Pp. 91-108.

2007. “Indigenous language endangerment and the unfinished business of nation-states”, in Monica Heller and Alexandre Duchêne (eds.) Discourses of endangerment: Interest and ideology in the defense of languages (“Advances in Sociolinguistics” Series, Continuum International Publishing Group) pp 35-56.

2007. “Language endangerment, language rights, and indigeneity”, in Monica Heller (ed.) Bilingualism: A Social Approach (Palgrave Macmillan) pp 111-134.

2007. “Aboriginal language endangerment in Canada”. Anthropologie et Societés 31, special edition on Dynamiques et pratiques langagières.

2006. “English and the construction of Aboriginal identities in the eastern Canadian Arctic”, in Catherine Evans Davies, Janina Brutt-Griffler and Lucy Pickering (eds), English and Ethnicity (Signs of Race Series, Palgrave Macmillan Press) pp 167-190.

2005. “Language Rights in Indigenous Communities: The Case of the Inuit of Arctic Québec”. Journal of Sociolinguistics. Volume 9, Number 3:369-389.

2004. (with Jane Freeland). “Introduction” (Chap. 1), in Language rights and language survival: Sociocultural and sociolinguistic perspectives. ed. by Jane Freeland and Donna Patrick, (St. Jerome Press, Manchester UK) pp. 1-34.

2004. “The politics of language rights in the Eastern Canadian Arctic” , in Jane Freeland and Donna Patrick (eds), Language Rights and Language Survival: Sociocultural and sociolinguistic perspectives. Chap. 9 (St. Jerome Press, Manchester, UK) pp. 171-190.

2003. “Language, Socialization and Second Language Acquisition in a Multilingual Arctic Quebec Community”, in Robert Bayley and Sandra Schecter (eds.), Language Socialization in Bilingual and Multilingual Societies. (Multilingual Matters, Clevedon, UK) pp 165-181.

1999. (with Perry Shearwood), “The Roots of Inuktitut bilingual education”. The Canadian Journal for Native Studies. 19: 249-262.