Profile picture of: Sophie Theriault


University of Ottawa

Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section

57, Louis-Pasteur Private, room 206

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

K1N 6N5

Tel: + 1 613-562-5800, ext. 3036

Research Interests

Indigenous peoples and the Law; Environmental and Sustainability Law; Extractive industries and Indigenous peoples; Environmental Justice; Postcolonial theory; Food Security and Sovereignty.


Topics to speak on:

Environmental, climate, and food justice; food security and sovereignty; Indigenous peoples rights and issues; extractivism; engaged scholarship; academic excellence

Words of Wisdom

“What cannot be said, or said clearly, in one language or culture may be said, and said clearly, in another language or culture. Acknowledging other kinds of knowledge and other partners in conversation for other kinds of conversation opens the field for infinite discursive and nondiscursive exchanges with unfathomable codifications and horizontalities.” (Boaventura de Sousa Santos)


Sophie Thériault is a Full Professor and the Vice-Dean (Academic) in the Faculty of Law (Civil Law Section), at the University of Ottawa. She is also a lawyer and member of the Barreau du Québec (2003). Professor Thériault holds a doctoral degree from Laval University (LL.D. 2009), for which she earned a doctoral scholarship from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Washington in Seattle (2004-2005) and at the University of Victoria (2005-2007). From 2015-2017, she served as the Vice-Dean of Graduate Studies in Law at the University of Ottawa. She also served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Louis LeBel at the Supreme Court of Canada (2002-2003).

Professor Thériault’s research focuses on Indigenous peoples’ rights in the context of natural resources extraction; Indigenous environmental governance; environmental justice and environmental rights; and food security and sovereignty for Indigenous peoples. Her work examines the myriad ways in which state law dispossesses, subjugates and marginalizes Indigenous peoples, especially in relation to the extraction of natural resources from their traditional lands. It also focuses on the role of law in creating, reproducing, and potentially remediating environmental injustices for Indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups. In 2012, she was awarded the Canadian Association of Law Professors (CALT) Scholarly Paper Award for an article she published in the McGill Law Journal on the environmental rights protected under the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (with co-author Professor David Robitaille).

Professor Thériault  is currently involved in multiple international and interdisciplinary research projects, including MinErAL (Knowledge Network on Mining Encounters and Indigenous Sustainable Livelihood:, Legitimus (The State and Indigenous Legal Cultures: Law in Search of Legitimacy:, and a project on Environmental Justice in Canadian Law and Policy (
She is a member of the Centre interuniversitaire d’études et de recherches autochtones (CIÉRA, Université Laval), the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability (CELGS, University of Ottawa), the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (University of Ottawa), and the Interdisciplinary Research Group on the Territories of Extraction (GRITE, University of Ottawa). In 2019, she was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Alumni Network.


Canadian Association of Law Teachers, Scholarly Paper Award (2012)

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship (2003-2007)

Executive Committee of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Alumni Network (2019-)