Co-Chairs

Hon. Mary Ellen Turpel-LafondAki-Kwe, Senior Associate Counsel, Woodward & Company LLP; Professor, Peter A. Allard School of Law; and Academic Director of the Indian Residential School Centre for History and Dialogue, University of British Columbia, Victoria & Vancouver, BC. Dr. Turpel-Lafond is a member of the Indigenous bar as well as the Law Societies of British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. She was a Saskatchewan Provincial Court judge for 20 years (1998-2018) and served as B.C.’s first Representative for Children and Youth from 2006-2016, an independent Officer of the Legislative Assembly. During her time on the bench, Professor Turpel-Lafond was actively involved in projects relating to improve supports for Indigenous peoples, especially in addressing the unique circumstances and needs of children and youth involved in the justice system. Her work as Representative for Children and Youth included detailed and systemic examination of the child serving system and she advocated for the human rights of children, resulting in many needed improvements. Professor Turpel-Lafond holds a Doctorate in Law from Harvard Law School (SJD), a Masters in international law from Cambridge University (Gonville and Caius College), a JD from Osgoode Hall at York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton University. She also holds a Certificate in the International and Comparative Law of Human Rights from the University of Strasbourg. She was awarded the distinction of Indigenous Peoples’ Counsel from the Indigenous Bar Association in 2006, and has been awarded honourary degrees from nine Canadian universities and schools of Law.

   

Maegen Giltrow, Partner, Ratcliff & Company LLP, North Vancouver, BC. Maegen works in litigation, negotiation and law & policy development. For the past 16 years she has primarily represented First Nations, spending several years working exclusively in all areas of Aboriginal litigation. She has helped develop inaugural laws for self-governance under treaty, and her interest and experience in governance matters expanded as she has broadened her legal practice to advising and representing local governments, landowners and others in public law matters. Over the past few years she has become involved in seeking reforms to child welfare practice. She was one of four independent Panel members to inquire, report and make recommendations to improve outcomes for indigenous children and families for the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, and has been a member of the Task Force overseeing implementation of those recommendations since 2017. She has also acted as counsel for the Nation and for Indigenous and non-Indigenous parents in CFCSA matters, including in L.S. v British Columbia (Director of Child, Family and Community Services), securing an order under BC Supreme Court parens patriae jurisdiction to protect the maternal/infant bond and nursing for an Indigenous mother and infant.

   

Faculty

 

Christy Black, Prevention Support Worker, Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Port Alberni, BC.

   
 

Kukpi7 Wayne Christian, Tribal Chief, Splatsin Indian Band, Enderby, BC.

   
 

Lori Duncan, Director of Health & Wellness, Carcross Tagish First Nation, Carcross, YT.

   
 

Louise Mandell, QC, Partner Emeritus, Mandell Pinder LLP, Vancouver, BC.

   
 

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Penticton, BC.

   

  Judge Steve Point (Ret.), British Columbia Provincial Court, Chilliwack, BC.
   
  Catherine Romanko, Public Guardian and Trustee of BC, Vancouver, BC.
   
  Judge Barry Stuart (Ret.), Yukon Territorial Court, Vancouver, BC.
   
  Dawn Thomas, Deputy Representative, BC Representative for Children and Youth, Victoria, BC.
   
  Councillor Douglas White III, B.A., J.D., Chair, BC First Nations Justice Council, Snuneymuxw First Nation, Nanaimo, BC. 
   
  Assistant Deputy Minister Joanne Wilkinson, Indigenous Services Canada, Child & Family Services Reform Branch, Ottawa, ON.
   
  Jeffery Wilson, Founding Partner, Wilson Christen LLP, Toronto, ON.
   
  Associate Chief Judge Susan Wishart (Invited), British Columbia Provincial Court, Vancouver Island, BC.
   
  William YoachimSqwulutsultun, Executive Director, Kwumut Lelum Child & Family Services, Nanaimo, BC.