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Elizabeth Carlson-Manathara

Elizabeth Carlson-Manathara

Assistant Professor

School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions
SE107 Sudbury Campus


Elizabeth Carlson-Manathara's Swedish, Sámi, German, Scots-Irish, and English ancestors settled on lands of the Anishinaabe and Omaha Nations, which were unethically obtained by the US government. She considers herself to be both complicit in, and resisting, settler colonialism on lands occupied by the Canadian State. Liz is currently learning to live as a treaty relative of the Robinson-Huron Treaty on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe peoples.

Liz Carlson-Manathara'’s social work practice experience includes over ten years as a school social worker in alternative (Indigenous), cross-cultural (St. Lucian), and mainstream K-12 schools, and over eight years as a therapist in private practice, a youth treatment centre, and an EAP program. In her social work practice, Liz values the self-determination of those with whom she works, and also seeks to address the oppressive social structures at the root of their suffering. Her practice is increasingly anti-oppressive and anti-colonial, and she seeks to integrate decolonial principles and practices into her clinical and social change work.

Liz is a filmmaker with the Stories of Decolonization Film project (, and author of the book Living in Indigenous Sovereignty (


Ph.D., University of Manitoba (Social Work)

M.S.W., Augsburg University, Minneapolis, Minnesota

B.S.W., Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota

Academic Appointments

Accreditation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Laurentian University

Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba

On The Web

Carlson-Manathara, E. with Jonathan Pinto. (2021). Living in Indigenous Sovereignty [radio interview for CBC Up North].

Rowe, G. & Carlson-Manathara, E. with Patty Krawec and Kerry Goring. (2021). Living in Indigenous Sovereignty [Dialogue for the podcast Medicine for the Resistance. Podcast recording forthcoming at: . Twitch recording at:

Carlson-Manathara, E. with Eugenia Eshkawkogan. (2021). Living in Indigenous Sovereignty [interview for the podcast The Fire Within: Indigenous Social Work Voices].

Carlson-Manathara, E., Richard, C., Kennedy, M., Craft, A., Freeman, V., and Rach, B. Living in Indigenous Sovereignty Book Launch. Fernwood Publishing.

Young, L. with Elizabeth Carlson-Manathara. (2021). Community collaboration: New book reflects on meaning of Living in Indigenous Sovereignty. Anishinabek News. meaning-of-living-in-indigenous-sovereignty/

Jones, R. & Carlson-Manathara, E. (2020). Robinson Huron Waawiindamaagewin Treaty Week Day 5.

Rowe, G., Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, T., & Carlson, L. (2018). Stories of Decolonization [Film project website].

Carlson, L., Rowe, G., Story, S., & Zegeye-Gebrehiwot [Producers and Directors]. (2016). Stories of decolonization: Land dispossession and settlement [Motion picture]. Canada: Flicker & Rise Productions.

Woroniak, M., Gamy, L., Carlson, L. Haglund, A., & Stepnuk, L. [Co-creators]. (2015). Groundwork for Change [Public education website about Indigenous solidarity]

Radio interview, Woroniak, M., Spillett, T., & Carlson, L. (2015, September 13). “” for Radio Free Winnipeg. Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Radio interview, Woroniak, M. & Carlson, L. (2015, August 12).“A new grassroots resource for settlers to learn about Canada’s colonial present and past” for Talking Radical Radio: Historical and Contemporary Voices from Social Movements in Canada. about-canadas-colonial-present-and-past/


Areas of interest: Decolonization, Indigenous-settler relations, anti-colonialism, settler colonialism, anti-colonial methodologies, social change, social movements, social justice activism, solidarity alliances, narrative methodologies, anti-colonial critiques of social work, qualitative research, anti-oppressive and structural social work, anti-colonial social work, Indigenous sovereignty, land return/sharing, Indigenous knowledges, filmmaking for social change, public education, Indigenous treaty perspectives, treaty relationships, critical race and critical whiteness theories, and anti-racism.

Elizabeth Carlson-Manathara’s research has focused on ways that non-Indigenous (settler) peoples can, and have, engaged with anti-colonial and decolonial living and activism.  Through this research, Liz has also explored ways that settler researchers such as herself can take inspiration from Indigenous and anti-oppressive methodologies. She has articulated an anti-colonial research methodology that settler scholars can utilize when wishing to resist colonizing ways of doing research and simultaneously resist appropriating Indigenous methodologies.  As a result of her research, Liz has taken up the framework of living in Indigenous sovereignty, or living in accordance with an awareness that we are on Indigenous lands containing their own protocols, stories, laws, relationships, obligations, and opportunities which have been understood and practiced by Indigenous peoples since time immemorial.

Liz is currently exploring ways that settlers can engage with and support land return, land sharing, and Indigenous land reclamation initiatives. Liz is a member of the Indigenous-Settler Relations and (De)Colonization Research Cluster of the Canadian Sociological Association, a member of the Niigaaniiwin Indigenous research network, an affiliate member with the Maamwizing Indigenous Research Institute at Laurentian University, and a Research Affiliate with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.



Carlson-Manathara, E. (Applicant), Rowe, G., & Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, T. (2021). Stories of Decolonization Film Project. Funder: eCampus Ontario Virtual Learning Strategy. $25,000.

Walker, J., Spade, C. (Applicants),  Carlson, E., Cote-Meek, S., Fortin, D, Hall, L., Manitowabi, D., Moeke-Pickering, T., Mushquash, C., Wabie, J (Co-applicants), Pegahmagabow, J, Lidstone-Jones, C., Ross, A., (Knowledge users), Gauthier, A., Richmond, C., Strasser, R., (Collaborators). (2019). Toward a Foundation of Indigenous Health Research Grounded in Our Relationships.​ Funder: CIHR. $75,000.

Carlson, E. (Applicant), Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, T., & Rowe, G. (2018). Stories of Decolonization Film Project: Identities and contemporary colonization. Funder: SSHRC. $49,980.

Craft, A. E. (Applicant), Star, L.M., Busby, K., Carlson, E. C. (Co-Applicant), & McGregor, D. A. (2017). Nibi (Water) Gathering 2017. Funder: SSHRC (Connections Grant). $25,000.

Carlson, E. (Applicant). (2008). Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship-Doctoral. Funder: SSHRC. $105,000.


  • Basic Intervention Skills in Social Work Practice
  • Human Service Organizations
  • Strategies for Social Change
  • Advanced Social Work Practice I (Masters)
  • Social Justice and Equity in Social Work Practice
  • Faculty consultant for Field Instruction I & II

Past teaching (University of Manitoba):

  • Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Introduction to Social Work Practice
  • Indigenous Peoples, Identity, and Social Work (co-taught)
  • Social Challenges and Indigenous Helping Practices (co-taught)
  • Anti-colonial Social Work (co-taught)



CS  ↵SELSelCCarlson-Manathara, E. & Hiller, C. (Forthcoming). Indigenous sovereignty is climate action. In S. Hillock (Ed.), Greening social work education: Caring sustainability. University of Toronto Press.

Carlson-Manathara, E. (2021-2022, Dagwaagin/Biboon). Renewing the Treaty relationship. E-Wiindamaagejig: The Robinson-Huron Treaty Times, (pp. 58-59).

Carlson-Manathara, E. with Rowe, G. (2021). Living in Indigenous sovereignty. Fernwood Publishing.   

Hiller, C. & Carlson, E. (2018). These are Indigenous lands: Foregrounding settler colonialism and Indigenous sovereignty as primary contexts for Canadian environmental social work. Canadian Social Work Review, 35(1), 45-70.

Carlson, E. (2017). Anti-colonial methodologies and practices for settler colonial studies. Settler Colonial Studies, 7(4), 496-517. Doi: 10.1080/2201473X.2016.1241213

Carlson, E., Rowe, G., Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, T., & Story, S. (2017). Decolonization through collaborative filmmaking: Sharing stories from the heart. Journal of Indigenous Social Development 6(2), 23-49. 02_Carlson_et_al.pdf​

Carlson, E. (2016). Identifying and transforming white colonial settler epistemes in mainstream social work: Towards anti-colonial social work. In M. A. Hart, A.D. Burton, K. L. Hart, G. Rowe, D. Halonen, & Y. Pompana, International Indigenous Voices in Social Work. Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 


Rowe, G., Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, T., & Carlson-Manathara, E. (Directors, Producers, & Writers). (2022). Stories of Decolonization: (De)Colonial Relations. ​Canada: Flicker & Rise Productions.

Carlson, L., Rowe, G., Story, S., & Zegeye-Gebrehiwot (Producers and Directors). (2020). Histoires de décolonisation: dépossession et colonisation de terres/Stories of decolonization: Land dispossession and settlement, French subtitle version. [Film]. Flicker & Rise Productions. [approximately 1000 views among 2 French subtitle versions].

Carlson, L., Rowe, G., Story, S., & Zegeye-Gebrehiwot (Producers and Directors). (2016). Stories of decolonization: Land dispossession and settlement [Film]. Canada: Flicker & Rise Productions. [approximately 10,000 views between all versions]. ure=iv&src_vid=rmPB38DBZYY&v=aTruP6r2cAA