Yvonne Sherwood

Yvonne Sherwood (On Leave)

Assistant Professor
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  • Mailing Address:

    3359 Mississauga Road
    Mississauga ON L5L 1C6

Yvonne P. Sherwood (Ph.D.) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto, Mississauga.

My work is grounded in and through Indigenous womxn’s organizing in frontline activism. I am Sp'q'n'iʔ (Spokane and Coeur d’Alene), and born and raised on the Yakama Nation Reservation in what is currently known as WA State. My work is informed by these places and draws from Fourth World analysis. From this perspective, I study the politics of embodied knowledge, environmental racism, climate justice, and settler law with a focus on the interplay of indigenous erasure, white supremacy, and heteropatriarchy. My current project examines these dynamics drawing from the lived critiques of Indigenous womxn’s embodied knowledge on the frontlines of environmental and gender justice. In this work, I challenge the ways mainstream movement spaces, without an analysis of the settler-colonial context, stream and mobilize Indigenous Knowledge towards liberal ecological reform. 

In the classroom, I enjoy thinking with students in the muddy spaces of legal reform and Indigenous resistance. Drawing from Native feminisms and critical pedagogy, I like to collectively story with students the way that power affects our day-to-day experiences. I ask students to think with me about how settler-colonial logics inform the way we understand ourselves, how others see us, our bodies and land? Moreover, what might we do to challenge and undermine oppressive systems like Indigenous erasure and anti-Blackness? I admire fierce dreamers and respects sensible practitioners, with a belief in a collective responsibility to dream otherwise.

Outside of the classroom, I have prior experience as a community organizer and volunteer for various health, cultural, and social justice efforts. I interned with the Center of World Indigenous Studies (CWSI) as a co-researcher on the Radiation Risk Assessment Action Project with Rudolph Ryser, Ph.D. and atwai (deceased) Russel Jim. During my time with CWIS, I conducted background research and social analysis of the cultural and epidemiological effects of nuclear contamination and community organizing. To support these sorts of efforts of communicating scientific jargon to community members and the general public, I earned a Certificate in Popular Science Communication through the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 2019-20, as a researcher and report writer, I assisted Veronica Terriquez (PI) on the Native Youth Capacity Building project under the California Young Adult Study and Youth Leadership and Health Study. The project is an assessment of Native youth organizing needs in order to build and support healthy Native and Indigenous communities.

Ph.D. (Sociology with a designated emphasis in Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz)
M.A. (Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz)
B.A. (Sociology, Women’s & Gender Studies, Eastern Washington University)
A.A. (Direct Transfer Degree with Certificate in Ethnic Studies, Yakima Valley Community College)


Selected Publications

Sherwood, Yvonne P. and Michelle Jacob. Forthcoming. “Native American Feminist Theory and Praxis.” In Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sherwood, Yvonne P. 2019. “The Political Binds of Oil Versus Tribes.” Open Rivers: Rethinking Water, Place, & Community 13 (Spring).  

Sherwood, Yvonne P. 2017. “Review of Prairie Rising: Indigenous Youth, Decolonization, and the Politics of Intervention by Jaskiran Dhillon.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 41(4):148-151.

Sherwood, Yvonne P. 2016. “Toward, With and From a Fourth World.” Fourth World Journal 14(2):15-26.



Indigenous Feminisms; Settler Colonial Analysis; Socio-legal Analysis; Social Movements; Critical Pedagogy; Feminist Critical Race and Ethnicity
Current Courses
SOC346H5, SOC358H5