Sarah Nickel, PhD

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - History, Classics, & Religion Dept

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - History, Classics, & Religion Dept


Area of Study / Keywords

comparative Indigenous histories 20th century Indigenous politics Indigenous women's politics and Indigenous feminisms Sixties social movements and oral history.


Sarah Nickel (Ph.D Simon Fraser University) is Tk'emlupsemc (Kamloops Secwepemc), French Canadian and Ukrainian, and she grew up in the unceded lands of northern Secwepemcul'ecw and the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Sarah joined the Department of History and Classics in September 2020 after five years with the Department of Indigenous Studies, at the University of Saskatchewan.


In Summer 2019 Sarah published, "Reconsidering 1969: The White Paper and the Making of the Modern Indigenous Rights Movement," in The Canadian Historical Review, and she also has articles in Oral History/Histoire Orale, BC Studies, and American Indian Quarterly. Her first book, Assembling Unity: Indigenous Politics, Gender, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs ( was published with UBC Press in 2019 and recently won the Canadian Historical Association prize for the best scholarly book in Indigenous History. She also has a co-authored edited collection In Good Relation: History, Gender, and Kinship in Indigenous Feminisms with the University of Manitoba Press (, released in May 2020.


Nickel, S.A. and Eryk Martin, “We want action now”: Indigenous Spirituality, Prison Activism, and Social Movement Mobilization,” Social History/Histoire Sociale (forthcoming)

Nickel, S.A. “We now must take action”: Indigenous Women, Activism, and the Aftermath of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women,” Labour/Le Travail vol 89 (Spring 2022): 156-169.

Nickel, S.A. “‘We’re not going to stop for anything’: Concerned Aboriginal Women and the Constitution Express,” BC Studies (The Constitution Express: A 40-Year Retrospective), no. 212 (Winter 2021/22): 41-64.

Nickel, S.A. “Reconsidering 1969: The White Paper and the Making of the Modern Indigenous Rights Movement,” Historical Perspectives: Fifty Years Since 1969, Canadian Historical Review 100, no.2 (June 2019): 223-238. 

Nickel, S.A. “‘I am not a Women’s Libber, although Sometimes I Sound Like One’: Indigenous Feminism and Politicized Motherhood,” American Indian Quarterly 41, no. 4 (Fall 2017): 299-335.

Knickerbocker, M.C.R., & Nickel, S.A. “Negotiating Sovereignty: Indigenous Perspectives on the Patriation of a Settler-Colonial Constitution.” BC Studies no. 190 (Summer 2016): 67-88.

Nickel, S.A. “‘You’ll probably tell me that your grandmother was an Indian princess’: Identity, Community, and Politics in the Oral History of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, 1969-1983.” Oral History Forum d’histoire orale, 34 (2014): 1-19.


Nickel, S.A. “Therapeutic Political Spaces: British Columbia Indigenous Women’s Organizations,” in Lara Campbell, Catherine Gidney, and Michael Dawson, eds. Feeling Feminism: Activism, Affect, and Canada’s Second Wave (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2022), 73-95

Nickel, S.A. (forthcoming 2023) “‘Our shared struggle’: Indigenous Women’s Rights and Transracial Coalition-building during International Women’s Year, 1975,” in Michael Poplyansky ed., The Forgotten Dimension of the Long Sixties: The Political and Cultural Movements of National Minorities in Canada and the United States (Quebec City: Laval University Press). Translated to French.

Nickel, S.A., “‘Making an Honest Effort’: Indian Homemakers’ Clubs and Complex Settler Engagements” in In Good Relation: History, Gender and Kinship in Indigenous Feminisms, Sarah Nickel and Amanda Fehr, eds. (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2020), 82-106.

Nickel, S.A., “Introduction,” in In Good Relation: History, Gender and Kinship in Indigenous Feminisms, Sarah Nickel and Amanda Fehr, eds. (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2020),1-19.

Nickel, S.A. “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.

Some of Sarah's most recent recorded talks are linked below:

Learning with Syeyutsus Speaker Series - TRC57 - Indigenous Political Movements in BC, March 11, 2021.

Indigenizing the Teaching of North American History: A Panel Discussion, 2020

University of Manitoba, Native Studies Department - Colloquium on In Good Relation, 2020

Revealing Indigenous History Through Oral Interviews - 2016 Canada's History Forum

Sarah is currently working on her next monograph:

Nickel, S.A. Auxiliary Organizations and Indigenous “Mothers of the Nation”: Gender, Politics and Place in Canada’s West. (University of Toronto Press, 2022). Under contract.


University of Alberta

  • Indigenous Women, feminism, and activism
  • Global Indigenous Resistance
  • Post-Confederation Canadian History
  • Indigenous Histories of Kanata until 1870

University of Saskatchewan, Indigenous Studies:

  • Indigenous Studies Methods
  • Indigenous Women: Feminism, Politics, and Resistance
  • Indigenous Studies Research
  • Indigenous Studies Theory
  • Transnational Indigenous Activism
  • Aboriginal Peoples and Canadian Politics

Simon Fraser University/Fraser International College

  • Canada Since Confederation
  • The Social History of Canada
  • Social Movements in Canada and the United States Since 1960


HIST 261 - Post-Confederation Canada

HIST 368 - Histories of Indigenous Peoples and Kanata until 1870

Examines selected themes of the histories of Indigenous Peoples in what is now known as Canada (or Kanata, a word in Iroquoian meaning village or settlement) from Time Immemorial until 1870.

HIST 499 - Topics in Oral History

Prerequisite: *3 in HIST at the 300-level or consent of Department.

HIST 679 - Topics in Indigenous Histories - Global and Local

Addresses select themes in the histories of Indigenous peoples in global, comparative, and/or local contexts. Can be repeated when course content varies.

Browse more courses taught by Sarah Nickel