Robin Gray. Credit: Drew Lesiuczok

Robin R.R. Gray (On Leave)

Assistant Professor

Dr. Robin R. R. Gray is Ts’msyen from Lax Kw’alaams, B.C. and Mikisew Cree from Fort Chipewyan, A.B. She is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga and holds non-budgetary cross-appointments in the Graduate Faculty of Sociology and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto St. George.

Dr. Gray’s research centers primarily on the politics of Indigeneity in settler colonial contexts such as Canada, USA, New Zealand, and Australia. Her current research activity is focused on foundational issues related to the representation, preservation, management, ownership, access, and control of Indigenous cultural heritage. Dr. Gray is the recipient of a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for a multi-sited, autoethnographic, and community-based research project with, by, and for Ts’msyen titled “The Repatriation of Song: Ownership, Access, and Control of Indigenous Cultural Heritage.” She is also a Collaborator (PI: Dylan Robinson, UBC) on a SSHRC Insight Grant for a long-term participatory action research project titled “Xoxelhmetset te Syewa:l | Caring for Our Ancestors: Reconnecting Indigenous Songs with Community and Kin” which involves working with Indigenous artists, scholars, and community members to reconnect kinship with Indigenous life incarcerated in museums, and to collectively explore what “more than repatriation” processes entail. She is a current member of the Indigenous Advisory Council for the Canadian Music Centre made up of a group of Indigenous artists, musicians, and scholars to enact a process for the reparation and redress of music in the IAC’s catalogue that appropriates Indigenous songs and misrepresents Indigenous cultures.

Dr. Gray is working on her first book manuscript titled “Rematriation: Paradigms for Indigenous Futurity”. This new work foregrounds Indigenous laws, ethics, and protocols and applies an Indigenous feminist lens to analyze the poetics and politics of Indigenous return including the implications for Indigenous nationhood. Drawing from a series of separate but interrelated case studies that focus on the active qualities of rematriation—or what rematriation is, what it wants, what it takes, and what it does—Dr. Gray argues that the future of Indigenous nationhood depends on rematriation paradigms, and that rematriation is necessary for realizing decolonial futures.

Dr. Gray has published in the Native American and Indigenous Studies JournalOxford Handbook of Musical Repatriation, Canadian Journal of Native EducationMuseum Anthropology, Journal of Language & Literacy Education, Anthropologica and AlterNative. She has also written popular articles for the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage blog, and is a Contributor for the landmark edited volume “Where the Power Is: Indigenous Perspectives on Northwest Coast Art” (Duffek, McLennan & Wilson 2021).

Ph.D. (Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Grad. Cert. (Indigenous Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
M.A. (Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
B.A.S. (Interdisciplinary Studies, Bennett College for Women)


Select Publications

Gray, Robin R.R. 2022. “Rematriation: Ts’msyen Law, Rights of Relationality, and Protocols of Return.” Native American and Indigenous Studies Journal 9(1):1-27.

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. 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.

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.]


Critical Indigenous Studies; Socio-Cultural Anthropology; Museum Studies; Indigenous Methodologies; Politics of Indigeneity; Indigenous Laws & Legalities; Property; Colonialism; Decolonization; Indigenous Feminisms; Rematriation; Repatriation
Current Courses
SOC228H5, SOC415H5, SOC455H5