Robin Gray. Credit: Drew Lesiuczok

Robin R.R. Gray

Assistant Professor Sociology
Office Location:
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga , ON
L5L 1C6

Dr. Robin R.R. Gray (Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2015) is Ts’msyen and Mikisew Cree, and an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Prior to joining our faculty, Dr. Gray held a 2-year University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History Department at the University of California Santa Cruz. Her research centers primarily on the politics of Indigeneity in settler colonial contexts such as Canada, USA, New Zealand and Australia. As a socio-cultural anthropologist and Indigenous studies scholar, Dr. Gray employs critical ethnographic, community-based, Indigenous and intersectional methodologies in the study and presentation of knowledge, power, culture and society.

Dr. Gray’s current research projects focus on the repatriation of Ts’msyen songs from archives, and foundational issues related to the preservation, management, ownership, access and control of Indigenous cultural heritage. She is working on a book manuscript titled, Indigenous Repatriation: Law, Property and Nationhood. In it she is analyzing various forms of Indigenous repatriation to interrogate the colonial power dynamics engendered by the transformation of Indigenous cultural heritage into the property of people, states and institutions unrelated to the source community. Theoretically, it necessarily confronts the contested sites of archives, museums, law, ethnographic collecting practices, cultural appropriation, collective memory, intellectual property issues, and Indigenous rights, while it also disrupts totalizing discourses of Indigeneity, nationhood, property and heritage—including the concept of repatriation itself. 

Dr. Gray has published in the Canadian Journal of Native Education, Museum Anthropology, AlterNative, Journal of Language & Literacy Education, and the Oxford Handbook of Musical Repatriation. As a public anthropologist, she has also written popular articles for the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH) blog, and contributed critical insights for the recent Masterworks Exhibit at the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia.


Gray, Robin R.R. 2018. “Repatriation and Decolonization: Thoughts on Ownership, Access and Control.” In The Oxford Handbook of Musical Repatriation, edited by Frank Gunderson, Robert C. Lancefield and Bret Woods. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Gray, Robin R.R. 2015. Review of World Art and the Legacies of Colonial Violence edited by Daniel J. Rycroft. Museum Anthropology 38(1):52-54.

Gray, Robin R.R. 2014. Review of Yakama Rising: Indigenous Cultural Revitalization, Activism, and Healing by Michelle M. Jacob. AlterNative 10(1):93-95.

Gray, Robin R.R. 2014. “Repatriating Indigenous Cultural Heritage: What’s Reconciliation Got to do With it? Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Blog.

Gray, Robin R.R. 2013. “Appropriation (?) of the Month: First Nation Totem Poles. Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Blog.

Turner, K.C. Nat, Kate Way, and Robin R.R. Gray. 2013. “The Transformative Power of Youth Action Coalition’s Multimodal Arts-for-Change Programming. Journal of Language & Literacy Education 9(1):40-53.

Gray, Robin R.R. 2011. “Visualizing Pedagogy and Power with Urban Native Youth: Exposing the Legacy of the Indian Residential School System.Canadian Journal of Native Education 34(1):9-27. [Reprinted in 2017 CJNE theme issue Reflection, Reconciliation, and Renewal 39(1):88-107.]


Settler Colonialism & Decolonization; Indigeneity; Access and Control of Indigenous Cultural Heritage; Law, Property and Nationhood; Repatriation Ethics and Praxis; Cultural Appropriation


Socio-cultural Anthropology; Indigenous Studies; Critical Race and Ethnic Studies; Knowledge and Power; Critical Cultural Heritage; Ethnography; Research Ethics; Indigenous Methodologies
Current Courses: 
SOC228H5, SOC415H5, SOC455H5
Ph.D. (Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2015)
Grad. Cert. (Indigenous Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2015)
M.A. (Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2010)
B.A.S. (Interdisciplinary Studies, Bennett College for Women, 2008)