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

Indigenous history Indigenous politics oral history gender community-engagement


Sarah Nickel (Ph.D Simon Fraser University) is Tk'emlupsemc (Kamloops Secwépemc), 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.



Nickel, S.A. Active Women: Indigenous Women’s Social and Political Work in Kanata’s West. (University of Toronto Press, 2024). In peer review.

Altamirano-Jiménez, Isabel, Hõkūlani K. Aikau, Sarah Nickel, and waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy, Introduction to Indigenous Feminisms. (Routledge Press, 2024). Under contract.

Nickel, S.A., and Amanda Fehr, (eds.) In Good Relation: History, Gender and Kinship in Indigenous Feminisms (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2020). 

Nickel, S.A. Assembling Unity: Indigenous Politics, Gender, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019). Winner of the Canadian Historical Association (CHA) Best Book in Indigenous History Prize, 2020. Short-listed for CHA Best Book in Canadian History Prize, 2020. Reviewed in BC Studies, NAIS, The Canadian Historical Review, Herizons, Ormsby Review 

Paige Raibmon (UBC), review excerpt from NAIS (Spring 2021). “Dispensing with simplistic, normative assumptions about Indigenous unity sets Nickel up beautifully to reveal the much more complicated reality. She locates Indigenous women where many other scholars have failed to see them: engaged, often through their own organizations, with and against UBCIC debates, policies, and campaigns. She carefully shows the trajectories of Indigenous women’s action, organizing, and political orientation over time.” 


In Review:

Nickel, S.A. “100 Years of Indigenous History,” CHR Perspectives, The Canadian Historical Review, 2022, 1-50. 


Nickel, S.A. and Eryk Martin, “We want action now”: Indigenous Spirituality, Prison Activism, and Social Movement Mobilization,” Social History/Histoire Sociale 56, no. 115 (2023): 149-175.

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., “‘A crying need for a day care centre,” Indigenous Women’s Child CareActivism,” Terms, February 2022.    content/uploads/2022/02/Leonard-Bina-Ellen-Art-Gallery_TERMES_SER_ENG_P2.pdf 

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 “Nos luttes communes: driots de femmes autochones et édification de coalitions transracials pendant l’Année internationale de la femme (1975),” in La Dimension Oubliée des Années 1968: Mobilisations de Minorités Nationales au Canada et aux Étas-Unis, sous la direction de Michael Poplyansky, Clint Bruce, Joel Beliveau, Anne-Andreée Denault, at Stépahnie St. Pierre (Québec City: Laval University Press, 2023), 211-244. Translation 15% Sarah Nickel, 85% Michael Poplyansky.

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., “‘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


University of Alberta

  • Indigenous Oral Narratives 
  • 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


I regularly accept MA and PhD students working in the areas of Indigenous histories, gender histories, western Canada, Indigenous politics/activism, oral history and community-engaged research. 


HIST 261 - Post-Confederation Canada

HIST 338 - Topics in Indigenous History

Addresses select themes in the histories of Indigenous peoples. Can be repeated if course content varies.

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.

Browse more courses taught by Sarah Nickel