Professor Profiles

Rebecca Cardinal Sockbeson

Rebecca Sockbeson, PhD

Associate Professor, Indigenous Peoples Education


Educational Policy Studies

About Me

Dr. Rebecca Sockbeson is of the Penobscot Indian Nation, Indian Island, Maine, the Waponahki Confederacy of tribes located in Maine, United States and the Maritime provinces of Canada. She is the 8th child of the Elizabeth Sockbeson clan, the auntie of over 100 Waponahki & Stoney Sioux youth and the mother of three children who are also of the Alexis Nakota Sioux First Nation of Alberta. A political activist and scholar, she graduated from Harvard University where she received her master’s degree in education. She went on to confer her PhD in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta, specializing in Indigenous Peoples Education. Her research focus is Indigenous knowledge, Aboriginal healing through language and culture, anti-racism and decolonization. Her doctoral study engages with how Indigenous ways of knowing and being can inform policy development. She currently serves as Associate Professor for the University of Alberta’s Indigenous Peoples Education Program. In 2013, she and her Indigenous colleagues received a University of Alberta Human Rights Teaching Award for her role in coordinating and teaching Alberta’s first compulsory course in Aboriginal Education, EDU 211: Aboriginal Education & the Context for Professional Development. Sockbeson's poem, “Hear me in this concrete beating on my drum,” was a winning entry in the Word on the Street Poetry Project in 2018 and is sandblasted on a downtown Edmonton sidewalk as part of a permanent public art installation.


Sockbeson, R., Weber-Pillwax, C., Sinclair, J., Louis, C., & Auger, S. (2018). Red Hope Pedagogy. Cultural and Pedagogical Inquiry, 10 (2), 50-57. 

Sockbeson, R. (2017). Indigenous Research Methodology: Gluskabe's Encounters with Epistemicide. Postcolonial Directions in Education, 6 (1), 1-27. 

Sockbeson, R. (2017). Waponahki Anti-Colonial Resistance in North American Colonial Contexts: Some Preliminary Notes on the Coloniality of Meta-Dispossession. In D. Kapoor (Ed.), Against Colonization and Rural Dispossession (1st ed., pp. 28-42). London, UK: Zed Books.

Sockbeson, R. (2016). Honored and Thriving: The Squaw Law and Eradication of Offensive State Place-Names. American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 40 (2), 123-138. 

Sockbeson, R. (2016). Reconciliation in the Face of Epistemicide. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 38 (2).

Sockbeson, R. (2011). Cipenuk red hope: Weaving policy toward decolonization & beyond. PhD dissertation, University of Alberta.

Sockbeson, R. (2009). Waponahki intellectual tradition of weaving educational policy. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 55 (3), 351-364.


  • Indigenous Peoples Education
  • Indigenous knowledge 
  • Aboriginal healing through language and culture
  • Anti-racism and decolonization
  • Indigenous ways of knowing and being informing policy development


  • Indigenous Knowledge Mobilization: A Purposeful Collaboration Between Indigenous Communities and Higher Education (2018). Principal Investigator, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Office of the Vice-President for Research, University of Alberta. 
  • Compulsory Aboriginal Education Coursework Toward a Revised TQS Compliance & Implementation (2018). Principal Investigator, Alberta Education, Office of the Vice-President for Research, University of Alberta. 
  • Institutionalizing Reconciliation; Systemic Knowledge Mobilization & Indigenous Knowledge Transfer (2016). Principal Investigator, Grant Assist Program Bridge Funding for SSHRC Insight Grant, Office of the Vice-President for Research, University of Alberta.
  • Indigenous Knowledge Mobilization (2016). Principal Investigator, Expanding Inclusiveness in the Academy: Indigenous Community Engagement, Research, and Learning: FGSR, University of Alberta.
  • Institutionalizing Reconciliation: Teacher Preparation & Aboriginal Education Courses (2014-2015). Principal Investigator, University of Alberta Endowment Fund for the Future: Support for the Advancement of Scholarship (EFF: SAS) grant, University of Alberta. 
  • Indigenous Knowledge Mobilization (2011-2013). Principal Investigator, University of Alberta, Faculty of Education Office of the Dean, Faculty Research Start up Grant.
  • Uplifting the Whole People Through Constructing an Intellectual Space that Engages Indigenous & Western Epistemologies (2012). Office of the Provost Innovation in Education Grant, University of Alberta. 



EDPS 501: Mobilizing Indigenous Knowledge

EDPS 506: Contextualizing Epistemology in Higher Education (Independent Study)  

EDPS 535: Indigenous Research Methodology

EDPS 537: Issues in First Nations Education 

EDPS 538: From Oral Traditions to Written Text 

EDPS 539: Revitalizing Indigenous Language 

EDPS 575:  Indigenous Knowledge and Anti-Racist Education

EDPS 606: Indigenous Research Methodologies & Indigenous Knowledge Transfer (Independent Study)

EDPS 606: Indigenous Pedagogical Approaches in the School System (Independent Study)

EDPS 900: Course-based Master’s Capping Exercise 


EDU 211: Aboriginal Education and the Context for Professional Development 

EDPS 432: The Education of Native Peoples in Canada: A Historical Study 

EDPS 474: Contemporary Issues in Native Education