Clifford Atleo

Assistant Professor


  • BA, Political Science, University of Victoria
  • MA, Indigenous Governance, University of Victoria
  • PhD, University of Alberta


Cliff is a Tsimshian (Kitselas/Kitsumkalum) and Nuu-chah-nulth (Ahousaht) scholar who researches and teaches Indigenous governance, political economy, and resource management. He is interested in how Indigenous communities navigate/adopt/resist neoliberal capitalism while working to sustain their unique cultures and worldviews. Cliff is particularly interested in how Indigenous communities and leaders continue to assert agency within the confines of settler colonial politics and economics. 

His current research focuses on:

  • Exploring cleaner marine transport options for coastal Indigenous communities;
  • Indigenous self-determination, health governance, and territorial integrity in the era of COVID-19;
  • Fairy Creek, Indigenous forestry management, and settler solidarity and;
  • Economic reconciliation and Indigenous economic alternatives to capitalism.

Selected Publications:

Journal Articles:

  • Hoogeveen, Dawn, Clifford G. Atleo (Kam’ayaam/Chachim’multhnii), Lyana Patrick, Angel M. Kennedy, Maëve Leduc, Margot W. Parkes, Tim Takaro, and Maya K. Gislason. “On the possibility of decolonizing planetary health: Exploring new geographies for collaboration” in The Lancet Planetary Health, vol 7, no. 2, 2023.
  • Atleo, Clifford and Jonathan Boron. “Land is Life: Indigenous Relationships to Territory and Navigating Settler Colonial Property Regimes in Canada” in Land, vol. 11, no. 5, 2022.
  • Silver, Jennifer J., Daniel K. Okamoto, Derek Armitage, Steven M. Alexander, Clifford Atleo (Kam’ayaam/Chachim’multhnii), Jenn M. Burt, Russ Jones (Nang Jingwas), Lynn C. Lee, Ella-Kari Muhl, Anne K. Salomon, and Joshua S. Stoll. “Fish, people and systems of power: understanding and disrupting feedback between colonialism and fisheries science.” The American Naturalist. Vol. 200, no. 1, 2022.
  • Schmitt, Michael T.  Scott D. Neufeld, Stephanie A. Fryberg, Glenn Adams, Jodi L. Viljoen, Lyana Patrick,Clifford Gordon Atleo, and Sheri Fabian. “‘Indigenous’ Nature Connection? A Response to Kurth, Narvaez, Kohn, and Bae (2020)” in Ecopsychology Vol. 13, No. 1, 2021, 64-67.
  • Atleo, Clifford Gordon. “Aboriginal Capitalism: Is Resistance Futile or Fertile?” in Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2015.

Book Chapters:

  • Atleo, Clifford, Tyla Crowe, Tamara Krawchenko and Karena Shaw. “Indigenous Ambivalence? It’s not about the pipeline…” in Public responses to fossil fuel export, edited by Hilary Boudet and Shawn Hazboun. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2022.
  • Stefanovic, Ingrid and Clifford Atleo. “Valuing Water,” in Ethical Water Stewardship edited by Zafar Adeel and Ingrid Stefanovic. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2021.
  • Atleo, Clifford. “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Canada’s Carbon Economy and Indigenous Ambivalence,” in Regime of Obstruction: How Corporate Power Blocks Energy Democracy, edited by William Carroll, Athabasca University Press, 2021.
  • Coburn, Elaine and Cliff (Kam’ayaam/Chachim’multhnii) Atleo. “Not Just Another Social Movement: Indigenous Resistance and Resurgence” in A World to Win: Contemporary Social Movements and Counter-hegemony. William K. Carroll and Kanchan Sarker, eds. Winnipeg: ARP Books, 2016.
  • Atleo, (Kam’ayaam/Chachim’multhnii) Clifford. “Aboriginal Economic Development and Living Nuu-chah-nulth-aht” in More Will Sing Their Way to Freedom: Indigenous Resistance and Resurgence, Elaine Coburn, ed. Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2015.

Book Reviews:

  • Atleo, Clifford. “Nitinikiau Innusi: I Keep the Land Alive: A review,” in North American and Indigenous Studies Association Journal vol. 9, no. 2 (2022): 127-128.
  • Atleo, Jr., Cliff (Kam’ayaam/Chachim’multhnii). “Unsettling Canada: A review,” in Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, Vol. 5, No. 1 (2016), 71-78.
  • Atleo, Jr., Cliff (Kam’ayaam/Chachim’multhnii). “Red skin, white masks: A review,” in Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, Vol. 3, No. 2 (2014), 187-194.