Clifford Atleo

Assistant Professor


  • 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. His doctoral research focused on the political economy of the Ahousaht on the west coast of Vancouver Island, in both historical and contemporary contexts. He is interested in how Indigenous communities navigate/adopt/resist mainstream capitalism while working to sustain their unique cultural identities, practices 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 looks at Indigenous communities and a variety of resource sectors, including fisheries and forestry management and fossil fuel extraction and transportation. He is also interested in the revival of traditional economic practices as well as the exploration of new practices rooted in traditional Indigenous principles and values.

Selected Publications:

Journal Articles:

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

Book Chapters:

  • 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.