ILSA’s membership consists of a diverse group of law students, each with their own unique backgrounds, experiences and accomplishments. Here we highlight a few of ILSA’s past and present members.
UBC Law Class of 2016
Catriona Dooley is an Oji-Cree and Irish 2L student at Allard Law. She’s a band member of St. Theresa Point First Nation in Treaty 5 territory of Manitoba, but grew up in Winnipeg and Sioux Lookout, Ontario.
Until moving to Vancouver for law school, Catriona lived in Winnipeg for many years completing two degrees at the University of Manitoba. This included her Bachelor of Arts with a major in Native Studies and a minor in Sociology, followed by a Bachelor of social Work. Both contributed greatly to her consideration of law school along with various issues she experienced as well as her family members and other Aboriginal people. In the middle of her attendance as a full time student, she also gave birth to a son and only accelerated the path she is on now.
Catriona is a past Executive member of ILSA from her first year of law school, but has remained actively involved since then. She is also involved in many clubs at Allard Law, with a strong passion for sharing her Indigenous culture with fellow students and staff during many events throughout the year. This has included the organizing workshops on beading and art for the inaugural Indigenous Awareness Camp, Indigenous Awareness Week, and whenever students have been interested to meet. She has also organized drumming practices for the Sisters in Spirit event and the ILSP/ILSA year-end luncheon, so that other students can participate and learn from one another in the process. Alongside other ILSA students, Catriona also actively promoted the attendance of law students as UBC’s first traditional pow wow this past spring and meeting with students of other faculties to promote Indigenous cultures.
Outside of academics, Catriona is also a mother to a 4-and-a-half-year old son and lives on campus with him and her partner as very grateful visitors on unceded Musqueam territory. At any chance she gets, she also tries to promote legal Indigenous issues and Aboriginal cultural awareness. A lot of her past work and volunteer experience have been related to this, which this past year has included attending the Indigenous Bar Association Conference, the CBABC’s Aboriginal Lawyers’ Forum events and the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly as a youth delegate. Her other past experiences include working for Aboriginal agencies within inner city populations of Winnipeg, being a team support member at Manito Ahbee, volunteering for Truth & Reconciliation Commission events, taking part in creative writing/arts workshops (Which lead to being published with the Indigenous Writer’s Collective of Manitoba) hosting youth art workshops, and promoting causes for Aboriginal youth. (Such as her nephew’s campaign to fundraise for Sick Kids Foundation research)
For the upcoming 2015-2016 year, Catriona looks forward to working with everyone within the law school as the newly elected Ombudsperson of the Allard Law Students’ Society. As well as continuing volunteering in areas of not only her interest, but ones that are important to her peers and the future generations to come.
UBC Law Class of 2016
Randy Robinson is Algonquin from the Timiskaming First Nation. Before his studies at UBC Law Randy worked with several Aboriginal community organizations. At the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network he contributed to creating public awareness about issues surrounding the high rates of HIV and AIDS in the Aboriginal youth population.
In his first year Randy accepted the role of 1L representative of the Indigenous Law Students’ Association (ILSA). In this capacity Randy built upon the collegial networks that exist at UBC Law to reinforce and support community in the spirit of reconciliation.
Randy sees a direct connection between his networking experiences working with ILSA and Lawyers Rights Watch Canada to the fluid integration, mobilization, and consultative relationship he encountered in his role as liaison to the Vancouver Public Library Series The Gap Between Law and Practice.
In his second year Randy was Chair of UBC Law’s inaugural Indigenous Awareness Camp: a three-day camping excursion where students have the opportunity to learn about local indigenous traditions. The camp was a great success and could not have been possible without Randy’s enthusiasm and leadership.
Randy is also a clinician with the UBC Law Students’ Legal Advice Program. He continues to cultivate diverse student networks and organizations in the following capacities: as a representative of the Indigenous Law Students’ Association, Indigenous Director of the UBC Law Students’ Society encompassing the Executive, Academic and Faculty Councils.
In the future Randy will focus his practice on Aboriginal Law and legal issues facing Indigenous Youth.
Jessie is completing her third year at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree through UBC majoring in Psychology and minoring in First Nations Studies. When Jessie entered Law school she was driven to become not only submerged in Aboriginal law, but also involved within the Aboriginal community at UBC Law and at large. It was on this basis that Jessie became actively involved in the Indigenous Law Students’ Association holding executive positions including second year representative and currently vice president. As a Metis student Jessie was eager to showcase this culture at the school and introduced a specific “Metis Awareness Day” to our annual Indigenous Awareness Week. Bringing awareness not only to the Metis culture, but to the numerous Aboriginal cultures and issues facing Aboriginal people is a passion of Jessie’s and she is extremely grateful to attend a University in which that is possible.
Currently, Jessie is participating in the UBC Indigenous Community Legal Clinic. This clinic is designed to engage law students in the issues that arise in providing legal services to disadvantaged members of the Aboriginal community. Jessie was attracted to this clinic not only because of the practical experience, but also because of her ability to truly help the Aboriginal clients. Being able to help these individuals navigate this complex legal system is extremely rewarding for her.
In her spare time, Jessie has taken up dragon boating and outrigger canoeing. She enjoys being out on the water and working hard with her team. While Jessie is still a novice paddler, she has fallen in love with this sport and will continue to participate for years to come.
Glenn is completing his third year at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law, with a focus on Aboriginal Law, inherent rights, and self-determination. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree through Thompson Rivers University and a Bachelor of Education degree from Vancouver Island University. A certified teacher, Glenn has taught all grade levels in First Nations communities throughout British Columbia.
Glenn is of aboriginal (Cree) ancestry and volunteers on the board of directors at the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre. At the VACPC, Glenn supports services, programs, and aid for the aboriginal population of Vancouver’s downtown eastside and collaborates to resolve the challenging relationship between aboriginal people and the police, not only in Vancouver but throughout BC and Canada. Glenn is also a former magazine publisher, and served for three years as a soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces.
As Program Staff with the Fair Mining Collaborative, Glenn has been joining with First Nations people and local communities in British Columbia in the quest to shape the future for families, land, water, and wildlife. The Fair Mining Collaborative provides technical and practical assistance around the issues and impacts of mining and has recently released the Mine Medicine Manual accessible here.
As an active member of ILSA Glenn has been strong voice, patient teacher, and an avid listener. Glenn continues to help lead ILSA towards bringing more cultural and spiritual guidance to our membership and meetings. His dedication and passion towards ensuring we are walking in the steps of our grandparents is a constant source of strength for the membership and ILSA as a whole.
Dr. Joshua Nichols is currently studying law at the University of British Columbia and has previously been a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria. In addition to his law studies Dr. Nichols is also a published author. He specializes in modern continental philosophy, especially Hegel, the Frankfurt School, and contemporary French thought. His primary area of research is political and legal philosophy with an emphasis on questions of violence and sovereignty. His book “The End(s) of Community: History, Sovereignty, and the Question of Law was released in January 2013. A description of his book is available at here.