Sarah Ann Nickel

Sarah Ann Nickel is Tk’emlupsemc (Kamloops Secwepemc), French Canadian, and Ukrainian and grew up on the unceded lands of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest. Nickel is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta. Her research focuses on Indigenous political histories and activism in twentieth century western Canada, and the gendered nature of politics. This work is a vitally important correction to an ongoing pattern in Indigenous history that tends to depict Indigenous men as actors and Indigenous women as passive and silent.  You can listen to her talk about this work here:

Nickel is the author of the award-winning book, Assembling Unity: Indigenous Politics, Gender, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (2019), which explores the relationship between pan-Indigenous politics in British Columbia and global political ideologies through the detailed history of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. She also led the edited volume, In Good Relation: History, Gender, and Kinship in Indigenous Feminisms (2020), which facilitated a dialogue amongst leading scholarly feminist intellectuals. The book offers space for the questioning, revising and reinventing of Indigenous feminisms through the inclusion of pieces that question gender roles, identities, and tradition, explore kinship and sexuality, and centralize self-reflection. You can listen to Nickel and contributor Kai Pyle discuss their work here:

Nickel is currently conducting research on a new project titled, Auxiliary Organizations and Indigenous “Mothers of the Nation”: Gender, Politics, and Place in Canada’s West (forthcoming, UTP 2022). This project looks at Indigenous women’s politics and activism in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan during the late twentieth century from the 1960s to the 1980s using an Indigenous feminist lens. Nickel is extraordinarily active historian who is critically engaged with the broader project of teaching history in ways that centre Indigenous experience.  You can listen to her discuss the Indigenization of Teaching North American history here: and the value of oral interviews to revealing Indigenous histories here:

Contact Information:

Select Recent Publications

Nickel, Sarah. “Indigenous Women, Activism and the Aftermath of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women (1967-1968),” Between Postwar and Present Day Canada Conference, May 2021,

Nickel, Sarah, with Tania Willard and Eryk Martin, ““We want action now”: Indigenous Women, Prison Activism, and the 1983 Kent Hunger Strike,” Graphic History Collective – Remember/Resist/Redraw #28, February 2021. Reprinted at

Nickel, Sarah. “‘Making an honest effort’: Indian homemakers’ clubs.” In Good Relation: History, Gender, and Kinship in Indigenous Feminisms, edited by Sarah A. Nickel and Amanda Fehr, 82-106. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: University of Manitoba Press, 2020.

Nickel, Sarah. “Reconsidering 1969: The White Paper and the Making of the Modern Indigenous Rights Movement.” Canadian Historical Review 100, no. 2 (2019): 223–38.

Nickel, Sarah, “A Genuine Revolution”: Transracial Gendered Relationships During International Women’s Year, 1975,” Shekon Neechie, March 21, 2019.

Nickel, Sarah, and Emily Snyder. Indigenous Feminisms in Canada, The Canadian Encyclopedia, January 15, 2019.

Nickel, Sarah, “Sewing the Threads of Resilience: Twentieth Century Indian Homemakers’ Clubs in Canada’s West,” in Emily Van der Muelen, ed., From Suffragette to Homesteader: Exploring One Woman’s Memoir on Life in England and Canada, 1870-1930 (Halifax: Fernwood Press, 2018), 157-174.

Nickel, Sarah, Re(Occupied): #OccupyINAC and British Columbia’s “Militant May.” Active History, April 26, 2016.