Sheryl Lightfoot

Associate Professor

Relevant Degree Programs


Great Supervisor Week Mentions

Each year graduate students are encouraged to give kudos to their supervisors through social media and our website as part of #GreatSupervisorWeek. Below are students who mentioned this supervisor since the initiative was started in 2017.


Despite being in global demand and usually found flying around the world Sheryl is really down to earth. Her teaching style is subtle and layered; she has so much knowledge and experience but you have to LISTEN, there are no cheat sheets. She is phenomenal in her ability to groom young academics into communities and jobs where our work can contribute to meaningful change for the larger Indigenous and global communities. With each step of the PhD process, her expectations, and the opportunities she offers increase and its up to you to decide how committed you are. If you're prepared to do the work, she's got your back.  

Denali YoungWolfe (2019)


Graduate Student Supervision

Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
Compliant(ish) : norm evasion and avoidance in doping, tax, and Indigenous rights (2016)

Norms literature assume that opponents of norms do not comply with its prescriptions, and will actively reject its’ logic patterns. While this may describe some patterns of norm contestation, actors that openly contest generally accepted norms may incur unbearable penalties. Other theories presume that a state may accept a norm’s logic patterns, but not comply as a result of an inability to comply. Evasion and avoidance present a different way of envisioning how actors may approach norms, compliance, and logic systems by delinking compliance and acceptance of normative logic. These concepts introduce opportunism as a key variable that also challenges presumptions about actor intentions. By examining the cases of doping in sport, tax law, and Indigenous rights, a pattern emerges where actors have been able to manipulate a norm’s compliance signals to technically comply with a norm while defeating the norm’s objectives. In turn, this allows actors to enjoy the benefits of non-compliance or partial compliance and compliance simultaneously, and escape detection by appearing to be compliant with the norm itself. These two concepts implicitly challenge the concept that compliance is a binary variable, and builds on a growing literature that suggests that the grey area between the poles of compliance and non-compliance may be more complex than expected.

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Canadian aboriginal violence: Retooling Hirschman's concepts of voice and exit (2014)

No abstract available.

Current Students & Alumni

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