Hartej Gill was born in India in the state of Punjab. She is the daughter of Mohinder & Jiri Gill and the granddaughter of Kishan & Naranjan Gill and Balwant & Pritam Sull who all come from a tradition of rice, sugarcane, date, wheat, and vegetable farming in their respective villages of Fatehpur, Moranwali, Jindowal, and Palahi. Hartej’s education began at the Government Primary School in Moranwali in the District of Hoshiar Pur. She has since worked as an Elementary School Teacher in both the English and French Immersion Programs in the North Vancouver School District. She has also held the positions of an English as an Additional Language Teacher, French as an Additional Language Teacher, Learning Assistance Teacher and Teacher-Librarian. In her last role in the North Vancouver School District, she worked as a Vice Principal at Sherwood Park Elementary School. She joined the Faculty of Education at UBC in 2006.
Working from Postcolonial and decolonizing frameworks, Dr. Gill studies leadership for social justice and transformative education, and the gaps among theory, practice, and social activism. At the core of her work is the goal of provoking critical dialogues about identity, colonialism, and their connections to present day systemic oppressions. As a scholar-practitioner, she aims to use her praxis as way of co-creating transformative and reciprocal relationships between universities, public schools, and the larger community.