Picture of  Kurtis Boyer

Kurtis Boyer PhD, MA, BA JSGS Faculty, U of S

JSGS Research Chair in M├ętis Governance and Policy and Assistant Professor, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan

Areas of Interest

  • Political psychology
  • Indigenous governance and politics
  • Evolution and behavioural approaches to public policy


Kurtis Boyer is a citizen of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan and is a political scientist working in the areas of Indigenous governance and political psychology. Originally from Southern Saskatchewan, in 2018 Kurtis completed his PhD in Political Science from the University of Lund in Sweden. 

In his doctoral work, Kurtis explored how empathy and altruistic behaviour become disengaged or misdirected under certain political conditions. His dissertation, An Autocracy of Empathy, was nominated for the European Consortium’s Award for Political Research’s Best PhD Thesis. Much of his research continues to focus on how external conditions influence political behaviour, and how insights from evolutionary and embodied cognition, as well as social-neuroscience might be made accessible to policy makers. Kurtis has also worked extensively on issues related to Indigenous politics, self-governance, and law. He has focused specifically on topics, including Inuit self-determination via living resource management, Métis governance, and drivers for collaborative economic development between municipal and band administrations. 

He has professional experience working with Indigenous organizations and governments, including the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan where he has worked as an advisor on governance and constitutional reform. In 2021 Kurtis was appointed as a member of the UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab.


  • PhD, Political Science, Lund University
  • M.A., Political Science, University of Northern British Columbia
  • B.A., International Studies, (minor in Indigenous Studies), University of Saskatchewan

Supervisory Capacity

Kurtis Boyer is currently accepting applications from new PhD and MPP students for September 2024 in the following research areas: Métis/Indigenous governance, policy, and politics.


Recent Grants/Awards


  • SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2021), “Reconciliation, Emotion, and the “Pull of the Status Quo”
  • Canadian Institute for Nordic Studies Graduate Scholarship (2017)
  • CIBC Achievers Renewable Graduate Scholarship (2017)
  • Indspire Advanced Education Grant (2017)

Select Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • Boyer, K. (2017). “Polar Bears and Other Objects” in Sara Jay (Ed) Critical Norths: Space, Nature, Theory. Anchorage: U of Alaska Press (pp. 103-117).
  • Boyer, K. (2016). “When the Butcher Calls the Hunter Foul, and the Muddied Politics which Follow: Speciesism and the EU Opposition to the Wolf Hunt”. Contemporary Justice Review, 19(2), 201-209.
  • Boyer, K. (2016). “Beyond Complicity and Denial: Animal Advocacy And The Right To Living Justly.” In G. Garmendia da Trindade, & A. Woodhall (Eds.), Intervention or Protest: Acting for Nonhuman Animals. Vernon Press (222-242) (Co-Authored with Guy Scotton & Katherine Wayne).
  • Boyer, K. (2015). “Politics and Animals: An Introduction.” Politics and Animals, 1(1), 1-5. (Co-Authored with Guy Scotton, Per-Anders Svärd, Katherine Wayne).
  • Boyer, K. (2014). “The Limits of Species Advocacy.” In M. L. J. Wissenburg, & D. Schlosberg (Eds.), Political Animals and Animal Politics. (pp. 123-134). Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Boyer, K. (2013). “Sverige, EU och vargen: Motstridiga antropocentrismer som källa till internationell konflikt”. Internasjonal Politikk, 71(1), 120-127. (Co-Authored with Martin Hall).
  • Boyer, K. (2012). “Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights.” Journal for Critical Animal Studies, 10(4), 179-183.
  • Boyer, K (2008). “1885 — Aftermath”, in kā-kī-pē-isi-nakatamākawiyahk Our Legacy: Essays, Avery & Fischter (Eds), University of Saskatchewan.