Emma Feltes

Emma is a researcher, writer, policy practitioner, and community organizer, committed to advancing just political relations between settlers and Indigenous Peoples. As a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology, her research documents the “Constitution Express.” This little-documented movement chartered two trains from Vancouver to Ottawa to fight for Indigenous rights, nationhood, and self-determination during the patriation of Canada’s Constitution in the early 1980s. A national and international campaign, it was ultimately critical in getting section 35 added to the Constitution Act, 1982. Emma approaches this work dedicated to publically-oriented and politically-engaged scholarship that hones in on the political responsibilities of settlers.

Emma draws on significant experience working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to advance Indigenous title, law, self-determination, and economic jurisdiction. She has contributed to major research projects on Indigenous territorial authority, facilitated workshops in First Nation communities across Canada, and participated in numerous United Nations meetings on Indigenous Peoples’ rights. During her MA at Dalhousie University, Emma worked with the Secwepemc, Nlaka’pamux, and Syilx First Nations to research the Laurier Memorial—a letter and political treatise presented to Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier in 1910. Her thesis won the Governor General’s Gold Medal Award.

Previously, Emma has worked in social policy and community planning at the City of Toronto, Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade, Social Planning Toronto, Atlantic Council for International Cooperation, and Movimiento Madre Tierra (Friends of the Earth Honduras). Her writing has been featured in AnthropologicaThe DominionSpacing, and on Rabble.ca.

Email: erfeltes@alumni.ubc.ca