Leah Sisi-ya-ama George-Wilson — Miller Titerle + Company LLP, Vancouver
Dr. Sarah Morales (Su-taxwiye) — Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria, Victoria
About the Course Chairs
Leah George-Wilson (Sisi-ya-ama) is a member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN) in North Vancouver. She was the first woman to hold the office of Elected Chief for the TWN, for three terms. Leah worked for the TWN for 18 years and held various positions for the Nation, the last one being Director of the Treaty, Land and Resources Department.
Leah holds a BA in Anthropology from SFU and an LLB from UBC Faculty of Law. She was called to the BC bar on January 31, 2015, and is currently an associate at Miller Titerle.
Since 2004, Leah has been elected as co-chair of the First Nations Summit. She also sits on the First Nations Lands Advisory Board.
Sarah Morales, JD (UVic), LLM (University of Arizona), PhD (UVic), PostDoc (Illinois) is Coast Salish and a member of Cowichan Tribes. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Victoria, Faculty of Law, where she teaches torts, transsystemic torts, Coast Salish law and languages, legal research and writing and field schools. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Victoria, she taught at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law where she taught Aboriginal law, Indigenous legal traditions, and international human rights with a focus on Indigenous peoples.
Sarah's research centres on Indigenous legal traditions, specifically the traditions of the Coast Salish people, Aboriginal law, and human rights. She has been active with Indigenous nations and NGOs across Canada in nation building, inherent rights recognition, and international human rights law. She teaches Legal Process and Torts in the JD stream, and is responsible for coordinating the special supplement to Legal Process for JD/JID students. She also developed two JID-specific courses for the second year of the program.
Elder Carleen Thomas — Tsleil-Waututh Nation, North Vancouver
Tsleil-Waututh Nation elder Carleen Thomas is the first Indigenous person to be named as the next chancellor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. As an educator, former council member, and special projects manager for the TWN Treaty, Lands, and Resources department, Carleen will serve a three-year term at ECUAD as the ceremonial head of the university, and will be sitting as a member of the board of governors and the senate, also acting as an ambassador for the university.
Dr. Val Napoleon — Interim Dean, Professor, Law Foundation Chair of Indigenous Justice and Governance, University of Victoria, Victoria
The title of my research chair is Law Foundation Chair of Indigenous Justice and Governance. I am from northeast BC (Treaty 8) and a member of Saulteau First Nation. I am also an adopted member of the Gitanyow (Gitksan) House of Luuxhon, Ganada (Frog) Clan. Prior to joining the Faculty of Law at UVic in 2012, I was cross-appointed with the faculties of Native Studies and Law at the University of Alberta.
My current research focuses on Indigenous legal traditions (Indigenous legal theories, pedagogies, law and precedent, legal institutions, and legal research methodologies), Indigenous feminism, citizenship, self-determination, and governance. Some of my major initiatives include the JD/JID (joint JD and Indigenous law degree) program, establishing the Indigenous Law Research Unit with a number of research partnerships with Indigenous communities and groups in BC, across Canada, and with international connections. Some of our projects are a two-year Indigenous/non-Indigenous water law research project, gender and Indigenous law, dispute resolution, Indigenous lands and resources, and human rights in Indigenous law. We are currently looking to hire graduate students for our water project.
I have taught and published on Aboriginal legal issues, Indigenous law and legal theories, Indigenous feminisms, governance, critical restorative justice, oral traditions, and Indigenous legal research methodologies. I also teach property law.
Merle Lagax'niitsk Alexander, KC — Miller Titerle Law Corporation, Vancouver
Wenecwtsin Wayne Christian — Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, Kamloops
Valerie Cross (Chemkwaat), MBA — Executive Councillor/Legislator, Tsawwassen First Nation, Tsawwassen
Celeste A. Haldane, KC — Chief Commissioner, BC Treaty Commissioner, Vancouver
Speaker George Harris — Stz'uminus First Nation, Ladysmith
Bonnie Leonard — Legal Advisor, Assembly of First Nations, Kamloops
Robert B. Morales — Negotiator/Lawyer, Cowichan Tribes, Duncan
Crystal Reeves — Mandell Pinder LLP, Vancouver
Earl C. Stevenson — In-house Counsel, Peguis Child & Family Services, Peguis First Nation
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