Photo of Donna Patrick

Donna Patrick

Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology



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.


Donna Patrick is professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She is currently working (till 2018) on a SSHRC-funded research project entitled: “Out of Place in Nunalijjuaq: Effecting Social Change with Montreal Inuit through Participatory Action Research (PAR)”. Previous research has focused on multiliteracies, identity, and community-building among urban Inuit in Ottawa, with the goal of exploring life histories and what literacy means for Inuit who now reside in Southern cities. This includes research on 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 Aboriginal 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 teaches courses in Language, Culture, and Power and courses that focus on Indigeneity, in Canada and the Arctic.

Recent Courses Taught

CDNS 6900  Ph.D. Core Seminar

Graduate Supervisions


Kushwaha, Anita. (Geography, Co-supervisor, Fran Klodawsky). Defended 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). Defended December, 2012. “The Importance of Being Shawville: The Role of Particularity in Community Resilience.”

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


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).

Howard Adler (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).

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

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

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

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

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

John Moses (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.

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

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

Stan Louttit (Anthropology). (2005) ‘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.

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

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


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

“« 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, 2012. pp. 85 à 108

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

“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), 2012. pp 224-243.

« 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, 2011. pp. 35-55.

“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, 2011. pp. 69-85.

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

“‘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, 2010, pp. 127-144 (with Julie-Ann Tomiak).

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

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

“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 (2007, “Advances in Sociolinguistics” Series, Continuum International Publishing Group) pp 35-56.

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

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

“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 (2006, Signs of Race Series, Palgrave Macmillan Press) pp 167-190.

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

(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, 2004) pp. 1-34.

“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, 2004) pp. 171-190.

“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, 2003) pp 165-181.

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