Tracy Bear
Assistant Professor, Indigenous Studies

Savage Bear is a rabble-rouser, Nehiyaw’iskwew (Cree woman) and citizen of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation in northern Saskatchewan. She is the Director for the McMaster Indigenous Research Institute (MIRI) and is an Assistant Professor within the Indigenous Studies Department. Savage is also the National Director of Walls to Bridges; an education program bringing post-secondary education to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated folks. Prior to arriving at McMaster in 2021, Bear worked at the University of Alberta, where she was the Director of the Indigenous Women & Youth Resilience Project and the academic lead on ‘Indigenous Canada,’ a highly successful online course boasting over 560,000 learners; she was also an assistant professor of Native Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies.

An accomplished academic, Bear has made significant contributions to Indigenous scholarship and the national Indigenous education landscape since earning her PhD from the University of Alberta in 2016. Her dissertation, ‘Power in My Blood: Corporeal Sovereignty through the Praxis of an Indigenous Eroticanalysis’ won the highly coveted Governor General Gold Medal. In 2023 Bear was named to the Order of Canada for her exemplary achievement and positive impacts for transformative change in the areas of Indigenous rights, prison education and academic leadership.

Her current research includes social justice, prison abolition, body sovereignty, sexuality, gender and reproductive justice, contemporary Indigenous art, and Indigenous literature. When she is not marking, teaching or enjoying her new role as Kookum (grandmother) you will find her literally chasing waterfalls around Hamilton’s amazing trails with her dog, Odin.
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