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Sari Graben

Associate Dean Research & Graduate Studies; Associate Professor
DepartmentLincoln Alexander School of Law
Areas of ExpertiseEnvironmental law, Aboriginal Law, Gender, Resource Development

Dr. Graben currently serves as the Associate Dean Research and Graduate Studies. In this role she provides strategic research leadership to support development of capacity and excellence in achievement of the Faculty’s research goals, and leads the application for a graduate program at Lincoln Alexander School of Law. Dr. Graben has also launched and directs the Lincoln Alexander Law Professional Development Program, designed to serve practicing lawyers and other professionals across a range of communities.

Research and Professional Contributions

Sari Graben’s teaching and research focuses on Indigenous peoples, with a special focus on regulatory institutions, emergent property systems, and risk. She is the co-editor (with Angela Cameron and Val Napoleon) of the book, Creating Indigenous Property: Power, Rights, and Relationships (2020), and is published in such journals as the University of Toronto Law Journal, the University of British Columbia Law Review, the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, the Leiden Journal of International Law, and the Osgoode Hall Law Journal. 

Graben currently holds multiple research grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for projects pertaining to Indigenous peoples and development. She has received the President’s Blue and Gold Award for Staff Excellence (2020) for her work as part of the Lincoln Alexander School of Law Start-up Team, as well as the Dean’s Scholarly Research and Creativity Award (2015), and the Best Paper Award from the Canadian Academy of Legal Studies in Business (2018) for her work on Aboriginal Title. Graben has served as an Executive Member of the Aboriginal Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association as well as a Member of the Board of Directors of Interval House (Kingston). She is regularly invited to present to government boards and ministries on risk, regulation, and rights.

Prior to joining Lincoln Alexander Law, Graben was counsel at a large national firm, adjunct faculty at Queen’s University Faculty of Law, and associate professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM). She has been a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) postdoctoral fellow at the Faculty of Law, UC (Berkeley), a Canada-U.S. Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at the University of Washington (Seattle) and Visiting Scholar at the Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University and the Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


S. Graben, Creating Indigenous Property: Power, Rights and Relationship (with Angela Cameron, Val Napoleon,eds.) (University of Toronto Press, 2020).

Selected Publications

Difficulties with Legal Design and Emodules: Teaching Emotional and Cultural Competence to Law Students, 2024:1 Canadian Legal Education Annual Review 1- 20 (with Page MacRae)

“Indigenous Women and Representation Clauses in Impact Benefit Agreements,” in Dwight Newman and Ibronke Odumosu (eds.), UNDRIP and Impact Benefit Agreements (Routledge 2021), (with Angela Cameron and Sarah Morales).

Law & Technology in Legal Education: A Systemic Approach at Ryerson (2021) 58:1 Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 139-162

Aboriginal Title in Tsilhqot’in: “Indigenous Property Law at the Supreme Court of Canada,” in Angela Cameron, Sari Graben and Val Napoleon (eds.), Creating Indigenous Property: Power, Rights, and Relationship (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020), (with Christian Morey).

“Stories and the Participation of Indigenous Women in Natural Resource Governance” (2020) Canadian Journal of Women and the Law (with Patricia Hania) 310-340.

“Aboriginal Title and Controlling Liberalization: Use it Like the Crown” (2019) 52:2 University of British Columbia Law Review, 435 (with Christian Morey).

“Presidents, Parliaments, and Legal Change: Quantifying the Effects of Political Systems in Comparative Environmental Law” (2017) 35 Virginia Environmental Law Journal, 357-419 (with Eric Biber).

“Negotiating Self-Government Over & Over & Over Again: Comparators and Pressure Points in Contemporary Treaties,” in John Borrows and Michael Coyle (eds.), The Right(s) Relationship: Reimagining the Implementation of Historical Treaties (Toronto:University of Toronto Press, 2017), 164-184 (with Mathew Mehaffey).

“Nested Regulation in Law and Development: Identifying Sites of Resistance and Reform” (2016) 9:2 Law and Development Review, 233-268.

“Tribunal Administration and the Duty to Consult: A Study of the National Energy Board” (2015) 65:4 University of Toronto Law Journal, 382-433 (with Abbey Sinclair).

“Arctic Networks and the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf” (2015) 28:4 Leiden Journal of International Law, 771-797 (with Peter Harrison).

“Administering Consultation at the National Energy Board: Evaluating Tribunal Authority,” in Patrick Macklem and Douglas Sanderson (eds.), From Reconciliation to Recognition: Essays on the Constitutional Entrenchment of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015) (with Abbey Sinclair).

“Resourceful Impacts: Harm and Institutional Valuation of the Sacred” (2014) 64:1 University of Toronto Law Journal, 64-105.

“Lessons for Indigenous Land Reform: From Membership to Ownership on Nisga’a Lands” (2014) 47:2 University of British Columbia Law Review, 399-442.

“Mind the Gap: The Importance of Local Institutional Development in Peacebuilding Security Interventions” (2013) 13:3 Journal of Conflict Security and Development, 285-316 (with Ann Fitzgerald).

“Rationalizing Risk to Culture in Resource Development” (2013) 26:1 Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, 83-114.

“Living in Perfect Harmony: Harmonizing Sub-Arctic Co-Management through Judicial Review” (2011) 49:2 Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 199-236.

“Evaluating Stakeholder Participation in Sub-Arctic Co-Management: Administrative Rulemaking and Private Agreements” (2011) 29:1 Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice, 195-221.

NFRF, Climate Changed Transportation: Holistic And Indigenous Informed Responses To Transportation Infrastructure, Food Security, And Community Well-Being In The Arctic Through Trans-National Knowledge Exchange, 2024, co-applicant (with Sapna Sharma et al)

SSRCH Insight Grant, Improving Financial Inclusion for Indigenous People in Urban and Rural Ontario, 2019, co-applicant,  (with Norrman Shaw and Sonya Graci)

SSHRC Insight Development Grant, Indigenous Women And Impact Benefit Agreements, 2018, principal applicant, (with Angela Cameron and Sarah Morales)

SSHRC Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation Connection Grant, Indigenous Administrative Law, 2018, principal applicant, (with Angela Cameron and Jeffery Hewitt)

Toronto Metropolitan University Un Sustainable Development Goals Grant, Gender Assessment, Impact Benefit Agreements, 2017, principal applicant

Best Paper Award, 2018, Canadian Academy of Legal Studies in Business (Aboriginal Title: Looking for the Political in Property)

TRSM Dean’s Scholarly Research and Creative Activity Award, 2015

TRSM Internal Research Grant (Ryerson), 2014, principal applicant

SSHRC Institutional Grant (Ryerson), 2014, principal applicant

Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair, 2013

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2012-2013

Queen’s University Arctic Policy Fellowship, 2010-2012

Degree Institution Year
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) York University 2010
LLM (Master of Laws) Queen’s University 2004
LLB (Bachelor of Laws) Dalhousie University 2000
BA (Bachelor of Arts) York University 1996