Heather Exner-Pirot has fifteen years of experience in Indigenous and northern economic development, governance, health, and post-secondary education. She has published and/or presented on Aboriginal Economic Development Corporations, urban reserves, telehealth, Indigenous workforce development, First Nations taxation and own source revenues,  distributed & distance education, Indigenous health care, Arctic human security, regional Arctic governance, Indigenous engagement in the Arctic Council, and Arctic innovation. 

Exner-Pirot obtained a PhD in Political Science from the University of Calgary in 2011 and has held several positions at the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development, the University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing and its distributed sites in northern and rural Saskatchewan, and  the University of the Arctic Undergraduate Studies Office. She currently works on strategy and research for pro-development Indigenous groups in Western Canada, and consults directly for First Nations and Métis clients through Morris Interactive.  Exner-Pirot is also a Research Associate at L’observatoire de la politique et la sécurité de l’Arctique (OPSA) at the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur les relations internationales du Canada et du Québec (CIRRICQ).

Additionally, she serves as a Board member for the Saskatchewan First Nations Economic Development Network, the Managing Editor of the Arctic Yearbook (an international, peer-reviewed annual volume), a regular contributor to Radio Canada’s Eye on the Arctic, a Board member for The Arctic Institute and Chair of the Canadian Northern Studies Trust.

She has conducted research and policy analysis for various Indigenous and government stakeholders, including Global Affairs Canada, Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs, the National Coalition of Chiefs,  the Saskatoon Aboriginal Employment Partnership and the Northern Municipal Trust Association.

She has published over 35 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and edited volumes, and presented at over 40 conferences and events nationally and internationally. She has also chaired several provincial, national and international workshops and conferences, including the 2018 Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation conference. 

She currently splits her time between Calgary and Saskatoon.