Margo Tamez

Associate Professor

Indigenous Studies
Currently on leave
Phone: 250.807.9837

Research Summary

NOT CURRENTLY SUPERVISING NEW GRADUATE STUDENTS. Ndé consciousness of time, place, and homeland; Indigenous women’s consciousness of land-based relations in Kónitsąąíí gokíyaa (Lipan Apache country); Indigenous consciousness along the Río Grande River; Indigenous Peoples & Human Rights; Borders; Militarization; Memory; Indigenous decolonial concepts; Self-Determination; Transitional Justice; the Poetics of Indigenous Movements.

Courses & Teaching

Indigenous perspectives of history, colonization and decolonization; Indigenous decolonial thought on governance and self-determination; Indigenous women’s consciousness and activism; Indigenous poetics of resistance and transformation


As a Dene Nde’ poet, historian, and writer, a key interest is maintaining close ties and critical engagement with Dene Nde’  peoples, principles, philosophies, intellectual history and decolonial recoveries. I remain focused on grief, loss, kinship, belonging, and the crucial expressions and assertions of beingness through Dene Nde’ lenses, concepts, resistances, achievements, and social justice processes. Dene Nde’ women’s perspectives on governance, their roles in and threaded across complex and overlapping communities, and their experiences as targets of colonial resource and territorial wars and their subjectivities in bordered and carceral spaces are core to my understanding of Dene Nde’ colonization and resurgence.

In my poetry and historical inquiry involve mixed creative and critical approaches to (re)examine and (re)think coloniality’s penetrating reach into Dene Nde’ peoples’ individual and collective experience, consciousness, thought, and resilience.

My philosophy and productivity are informed by critical and Indigenous feminist thought and activism which I employ to (re)position Dene Nde’ ways of knowing and doing as a process of questioning and challenging colonial thought, norms, presumptions, epistemologies, systems, structures, and categories which continue to subvert Dene Nde’ communities, families, bands, and extended kinship structures now heavily fractured and factionalized by and through colonial legal regimes, such as border structures.

I enact Dene Nde’ world views of nizhoni (harmonious beauty relationality and expression of high consciousness as a metaphysics and paradigm) — a state of being highly sought after and aspired to amongst Nde’ 21st century artist-justice-warriors. Practically speaking, Dene Nde’ peoples, divided by 2 militarized settler borders, are deeply challenged by violent recognition regimes and colonial schemes which have split up the Dene unification and seek peace proactively.

My current focus on the reconstruction of the Dene Nde’ gowa gozhoo gokal, ‘her beautiful house of law’–through community-based, traditional knowledge, poetics, visuality, oral tradition, story, archival, and language recovery searching– is central to my on-going research process.  I actively participate in the creative-critical recovery and revitalization of Dene Nde’ poetics, law, philosophy, feminism, and praxis as embodied and enacted through my teaching, scholarship, and service.

To accomplish my goals to centre Dene Nde’ lenses as a Dene Nde’ researcher, I interweave oral tradition, history, poetry, oral tradition, archives, community collections, memory and commemorative practices.  These include narrative (re)construction, tipi mural painting, dance, textile and buckskin arts, collage, photography, legal studies, and language revitalization in the co-creation of the Dene Nde’ gowa gozhoo gokal. This is an on-going 21st century process which acknowledges the on-going upheavals and cataclysms which Dene Nde’ peoples are still experiencing as ‘implosions’, ‘explosions’, and ‘catastrophes’ which propel us into movement and mobilization through and across Niguusdzan. Dene Nde’ being and belonging throughout the hemisphere is enacted within and in the Syilx territory.  My research process encompasses a 3 year protocol and relationship building process undertaken with Syilx Native Title holders in the Nk’malpqs community, OKIB reserve.  This is a critical revitalization of Dene Nde’ belonging.


Find out more about my research at my UBC blog.

A Different Blog:



MFA, Arizona State University
PhD, Washington State University

Research Interests & Projects

Dene Nde’ Decolonial and Revitalization Studies
Ndé = ‘the People’ of Big Water People’s Country (‘Lipan Apache’)

  • Dene Ndé Knowledge, Memory, History, Time, Space, Law & Decolonization
  • Gònìcéi isdzáné (‘Lipan Apache women’)
  • Isdzán gowa gozhoo gokal:  “her beautiful house of law”
  • Gònìcéi, Nahua, Comanche, and Euskara (Basque) Kinship in Rio Grande Valley social spheres
  • Nde’ Reclamations of being, belonging, Indigenous place,
  • Nde’ Convenios, Crown Grants, Treaties & Aboriginal Title
  • Indigenous Women, Genocide, Trauma, Memory & Justice in border-walled and militarized zones 
  • Indigenous Poetics, Commemorative Practices, and social movements
  • Indigenous Women’s Traditional Arts
  • Indigenous cartographies and pictorial genealogies of belonging in time, place, and space

Selected Publications & Presentations

Selected publications can be found on Google Scholar and Academia.

Selected Grants & Awards

Tamez, Margo. 2012-2014. Hampton Research Fund. $25,000.00

Tamez, Margo. 2012. Individual Internal Research Fund. $5,000.00

Tamez, Margo. 2015-2018. SSHRC Insight Development Grant. $74,974.00


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