Picture of  Greg Poelzer

Greg Poelzer PhD Professor, School of Environment and Sustainability

Fulbright Scholar

Room 337, Kirk Hall

Research Area(s)

  • Comparative politics and policy as it relates to northern circumpolar regions and to Aboriginal-state relations, and sustainable development in the north.

Academic Credentials

  • PhD (Political Science), University of Alberta
  • MA (political Science), Carleton University
  • BA, Honours (Political Science), University of Alberta

Research Profile

For over twenty-five years, Greg Poelzer has engaged in research focused on comparative politics and policy as it relates to Aboriginal-state relations; energy and resource development in the Circumpolar north; capacity-building in northern regions; and northern development. He has written extensively on the historical and contemporary aspects of communities located in the circumpolar north and the Canadian sub-arctic, focusing on Aboriginal development, the development of regional infrastructure and the mining sector. His previous works have examined community engagement in environmental assessment for resource development; strategic environmental assessments for Arctic offshore energy planning and development; and Aboriginal political culture in Northern Saskatchewan. Greg’s first book, Arctic Front: Defending Canada in the Far North (2008), was awarded (with his co-authors) the Donner Prize for excellence and innovation in Canadian public policy writing. His second co-authored book, From Treaty Peoples to Treaty Nation: A Road Map for All Canadians, which focuses on Aboriginal success stories and approaches to improved Aboriginal-state relationships, was released in 2015.

Greg is the lead of the Renewable Energy in Remote and Indigenous Communities Initiative at SENS and is bringing together government, academic, industry, Indigenous and community stakeholders to develop best practices for transitioning to renewable energy in remote locations. For more on the initiative, visit the website

Greg was the founding director of the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development (ICNGD), former Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the University of the Arctic (2003-2008), and currently leads the UArctic's International Northern Governance Thematic Network—a research group consisting of 22 member organizations from seven Arctic states. Off-campus, he can be found canoeing in the many lakes and rivers of Saskatchewan or hunting with his Large Munsterlander, Gus, for Saskatchewan’s finest game birds.

News and Media

Selected Publications

Poelzer, G. and Coates, K.S.  2015.  From Treaty Peoples to Treaty Nation: A Road Map for All Canadians.  Vancouver: UBC Press, 366 pp.

Poelzer, G. and Wilson, G.N.  2015  Governance in the Arctic: Political Systems and Geopolitics. p.185-222 in Larsen, J.N. and Fondahl, G. eds., Arctic Human Development Report: Regional Processes and Global Linkages.  Denmark: Nordic Council of Ministers.

Noble, B.F., Ketilson, S., Aitken, A., and Poelzer, G. 2013.  Strategic Environmental Assessment Opportunities and Risks for Arctic Offshore Energy Planning and Development.  Marine Policy, 39: 296-302. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2012.12.011

Beatty, B., Berdahl, L., and Poelzer, G.  2012. Aboriginal Political Culture in Northern Saskatchewan.  Canadian Journal of Native Studies, 32(2): 121-139.

Berdahl, L., Poelzer, G., and Beatty.  2012. Aboriginal Voter Turnout in Northern Saskatchewan.  Aboriginal Policy Studies, 2(1): 26-41.  http://dx.doi.org/10.5663/aps.v2i1.11741

Berdahl, L., Beatty, B., and Poelzer, G.  2011.  Developing Communities in Northern Saskatchewan: Women and Youth in Aboriginal Community Development.  Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development, 7(2): 90-101.

Poelzer, G.  2009.  Education: A Critical Foundation for a Sustainable North. in Frances Abele, F., Courchene, T.J., Seidle, F.L., and St-Hilaire, F. eds., Northern Exposure: Peoples, Powers and Prospects in Canada’s North, Vol. 4. Montreal: IRPP and McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Coates, K.S., Lackenbauer, P.W., Morrison, W.R., and Poelzer, G.  2008.  Arctic Front: Defending Canada in the Far North.  Markham: Thomas Allen, 336 pp.

Courses Taught

  • ENVS 898 - Renewable Energy and Energy Transitions