Robin Gray


Office: 725 Spadina; Rm. 248

UTM Office: MN6296

personal website


Robin Gray

Assistant Professor


Dr. Robin R. R. Gray (PhD – University of Massachusetts Amherst 2015) is Ts’msyen and Mikisew Cree, and an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Prior to joining our faculty, Dr. Gray held a 2-year University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History Department at the University of California Santa Cruz. Her research centers primarily on the politics of Indigeneity in settler colonial contexts such as Canada, USA, New Zealand and Australia. As a socio-cultural anthropologist and Indigenous studies scholar, Dr. Gray employs critical ethnographic, community-based, Indigenous and intersectional methodologies in the study and presentation of knowledge, power, culture and society.

Dr. Gray’s current research projects focus on the repatriation of Ts’msyen songs from archives, and foundational issues related to the preservation, management, ownership, access and control of Indigenous cultural heritage. She is working on a book manuscript titled, Indigenous Repatriation: Law, Property and Nationhood. In it she is analyzing various forms of Indigenous repatriation to interrogate the colonial power dynamics engendered by the transformation of Indigenous cultural heritage into the property of people, states and institutions unrelated to the source community. Theoretically, it necessarily confronts the contested sites of archives, museums, law, ethnographic collecting practices, cultural appropriation, collective memory, intellectual property issues, and Indigenous rights, while it also disrupts totalizing discourses of Indigeneity, nationhood, property and heritage—including the concept of repatriation itself.

Dr. Gray has published in the Canadian Journal of Native Education, Museum Anthropology, AlterNative, Journal of Language & Literacy Education, and the Oxford Handbook of Musical Repatriation. As a public anthropologist, she has also written popular articles for the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH) blog, and contributed critical insights for the recent Masterworks Exhibit at the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia.


Recent Publications

2018. “Repatriation and Decolonization: Thoughts on Ownership, Access and Control.” In The Oxford Handbook of Musical Repatriation. Frank Gunderson, Rob Lancefield and Bret Woods, eds. Oxford University Press.

2015. Book Review of World Art and the Legacies of Colonial Violence. Museum Anthropology 38(1):52-54.

2014. Book Review of Yakama Rising: Indigenous Cultural Revitalization, Activism, and Healing. AlterNative 10(1):93-95.

2014. Repatriating Indigenous Cultural Heritage: What’s Reconciliation Got to do with it? Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Blog. March 25.

2013. First Nation Totem Poles. Appropriation (?) of the Month. Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Blog. April 18.

2012 (with K.C. Nat Turner & Kate Way). The Transformative Power of Youth Action Coalition’s Multimodal Arts-for-Change Programming. Journal of Language & Literacy Education 9(1):40-53.

2011. Visualizing Pedagogy and Power with Urban Native Youth: Exposing the Legacy of the Indian Residential School System. Canadian Journal of Native Education 34(1):9-27. (*2017 reprint for CJNE Theme Issue, “Reflection, Reconciliation, and Renewal” 39(1):88-107.)