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Associate professor


Office: BEC 380 250-721-8533
Area of expertise:
Indigenous economics, applied microeconometrics and economic history


Donn Feir is an applied labor economist and economic historian who has published on reconciliation, modern Indigenous labor market experiences, health and the impact of historic policies on Indigenous economies and people.

Donn is a Research Fellow at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics and the Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Donn received their PhD from the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia.


  • indigenous economics
  • labour economics
  • gender and household economics
  • economic history
  • applied econometrics

Research projects

  • The Long Term Effects of Indian Residential Schools
  • The Decline of the American Bison, Land, Treaties and Growth
  • The Slaughter of the Bison and Reversal of Fortunes on the Great Plains
  • Access to Finance for Indigenous Nations


Selected publications

  • "Indigenous nations and the development of the US economy: land, resources, and dispossession" (with Ann Carlos and Angela Redish), Journal of Economic History 82(2), 2022.
  • "Law enforcement officers' bills of rights and police violence" (with Jamein P. Cunningham, Rob Gillezeau, Matthew Harvey and Abdul Rad), AEA Papers and Proceedings 112, May 2022.
  • “Native American age at death in the United States” (with Randall Akee, Samuel Myers, Marium Navid, Olivia Matzke, Kai Tiede, Rachel Magennis), Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy, March 2022.
  • “Repaying a debt? The performance of Morrill Act University beneficiaries as measured by Native enrollment and graduation rates” (with Maggie Jones), Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Journal. Invited article in peer reviewed journal. 2021, 8(1):129-138.
  • “Secured transactions laws and economic development on American Indian reservations” (with Christian Dippel, Bryan Leonard and Marc Roark), AEA Papers and Proceedings 111, May 2021.
  • “Ownership and trust in banks: evidence from the First Bank in an American Indian nation” (with Rachel Wellhausen and Calvin Thrall), AEA Papers and Proceedings 111, May 2021.
  • "The distributional impacts of active labor market programs for Indigenous populations ” (with Kelly Foley and Maggie Jones), AEA Papers and Proceedings 111, May 2021.
  • “Indian residential schools: height and body mass post-1930” (with M. Chris Auld), Canadian Journal of Economics 2021, 54(1):126-163.
  • "The price of mortgage financing for Native Americans" (with Laura Cattaneo). Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy 2020. 
  • “Gender ratios on First Nations reserves in Canada” (with Randall Akee), Canadian Studies in Population April 2020, 47(4):213-227.
  • "Introduction of formal child care services in Inuit communities and labour force outcomes" (with Jasmin Thomas), Canadian Public Policy December 2019, 45(4).
  • "First people lost: The state of status First Nations mortality in Canada using administrative data" (with Randall Akee), Journal of Economics May 2019, 52(2).
  • "Return to the homeland? The impact of the great recession on employment outcomes and labour mobility for Native Americans" (with R. Gilleazeau) Journal of Economics, Race and Policy 2018:1-15.
  • "Estimating institutionalization and homelessness for status First Nations in Canada: a method and implications" (with R. Akee), International Indigenous Policy Journal 2018 9(4).
  • "The long term effects of forcible assimilation policy: the case of Indian boarding schools," Canadian Journal of Economics May 2016, 49(2):433-480.
  • “The intergenerational effect of forcible assimilation policy on school performance,” International Indigenous Policy Journal 2016, 7(3):1-44).
  • “Answering the call: an empirical social Scientist’s Guide to Reconciliation” (with Robert Hancock). Canadian Public Policy September 2016, 42(3):350-365.
  • “Weak identification in fuzzy regression discontinuity designs” (with Vadim Marmer and Thomas Lemieux), Journal of Business and Economic Statistics. April 2016, 34(2):185-196.
  • "Size, structure and change: exploring the sources of Aboriginal earnings gaps in 1995 and 2005," Canadian Public Policy 2013, 32(2):309-334.