Clifford Atleo

Assistant Professor
Resource & Environmental Management


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


Cliff is a Tsimshian (Kitsumkalum/Kitselas) 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 mainstream capitalism while working to sustain their unique cultural identities 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. He has recently published on Indigenous water relations and Indigenous community responses to the Trans Mountain pipeline.

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:

  • 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.
  • Atleo, Clifford Gordon. “Aboriginal Capitalism: Is Resistance Futile or Fertile?” in Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2015.

Book Chapters:

  • 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, 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.
  • Na’cha’uaht/Kam’ayaam (Cliff Atleo Jr.) “Returning to the Land: What Does It Take and Are You Ready?” in For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook, Waziyatawin and Michael Yellow Bird, eds. Santa Fe: SAR Press, 2012.

Book Reviews:

  • 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.


Future courses may be subject to change.