On March 23, 2021, at the conclusion of its 46th session in Geneva, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot as the North American member on the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP). Dr. Lightfoot is Canada Research Chair of Global Indigenous Rights and Politics and Associate Professor with the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, Department of Political Science, and First Nations and Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia. In this position, Dr. Lightfoot is expected to provide expertise to the UN Human Rights Council, UN member States, as well as various stakeholders on concrete actions to fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
As one of the world’s experts in global Indigenous politics, Dr. Lightfoot specializes in complex questions of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and how those rights are being claimed and negotiated in various political spaces. Her work explores both practical and theoretical aspects of the implementation of Indigenous rights globally as well as in comparative domestic and regional contexts.
Dr. Lightfoot also currently serves as Senior Advisor to the UBC President on Indigenous Affairs. She is Anishinaabe from the Lake Superior Band of Ojibwe, enrolled at the Keweenaw Bay Community in northern Michigan.
April 11, 2021
Dr. Lightfoot was interviewed in The Narwhal, ‘It’s blown me away’: Sheryl Lightfoot becomes first Indigenous woman from Canada appointed to UN expert body.
April 7, 2021
Dr. Lightfoot was interviewed about her appointment as the North American member of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Globe and Mail (subscription).
March 26, 2021
Dr. Lightfoot’s appointment was featured in an article by The Georgia Strait, highlighting her key priorities and challenges in striving towards the implementation of UNDRIP.
March 25, 2021
Dr. Lightfoot was interviewed by Global News on her appointment as the North American member on EMRIP. She discussed what advancing Indigenous human rights implementation looks like, as well as what she hopes to bring to the table.
March 24, 2021
Yahoo News quoted Dr. Lightfoot’s comments on her appointment and her perspectives on the UNDRIP Action Plan in “UBC’s Sheryl Lightfoot appointed UN representative for the rights of Indigenous Peoples.” This story also ran in CBC News.
Dr. Lightfoot was interviewed on an episode of the CBC podcast “On The Coast with Gloria Macarenko,” where she discussed her appointment and the opportunities and challenges that come with the new role.
Dr. Lightfoot’s announcement was featured in an article by Windspeaker.com,