Board of Directors

The Indigenous Bar Association in Canada is run by a volunteer Board of Directors, with administrative support.

Drew Lafond

Drew Lafond

President

Drew was raised in Treaty 6 territory on the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation reserve and is also of Shuswap descent from the Simpcw First Nation in British Columbia. He advises First Nations and Metis communities on matters related to economic development, gaming, housing, commercial leasing, and corporate governance, structure and finance. 

dlafond@indigenousbar.ca

Brooks Arcand-Paul

Brooks Arcand-Paul

Vice-President

Brooks is a nehiyaw napew (Cree) from kipohtakaw (Alexander First Nation) in Treaty 6 territory, a treaty which was adhered to by kitâniskocâpân catchistahwayskum (his great-great-grandfather) at Fort Edmonton. Brooks has diverse experiences in Treaty 6, 7 and 8 territories within Alberta, and continues to appreciate the magnitude of all the promises laid out within those foundational documents.

Brooks is in-house counsel to the Alexander First Nation, Treaty 6,(Alberta). Brooks has been on the Board of Directors of the IBA since 2014.

barcand-paul@indigenousbar.ca

 

Laura Sharp

Laura Sharp

Secretary

Laura Sharp is a Mohawk member of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy from the Six Nations of the Grand River. She is from the Bear Clan. Laura previously served a two-year term as one of the IBA’s Student Representatives on the Board of Directors.

Laura completed a B.A. honours degree in Political Science at the University of Western Ontario in 2014. She graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto in June, 2019. While at Osgoode Laura was the Vice-Chair of the Osgoode Indigenous Students Association and worked to ensure the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #28 – the Call to Action which requires all law students to complete a mandatory course in Indigenous people and the law – was fully implemented at Osgoode Hall.

Over the past several years, Laura has worked as a summer student in the Professionalism and Policy Department at the Law Society of Alberta; assisted in developing an annotated United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) with Othlius Kleer Townshend (OKT) LLP; and completed Osgoode’s Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governments Intensive Program where she was placed with West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) in Vancouver. At WCEL, Laura worked with the RELAW project team to develop an Indigenous-led environmental assessment process for a first nation that was grounded in their own Indigenous laws. Laura is currently articling at Nahwegahbow Corbiere Genoodmagejig Barristers & Solicitors, an Indigenous owned and run law firm that serves Indigenous communities in a wide range of matters. She will be called to the bar in June, 2020.
 

Jocelyn Formsma

Jocelyn Formsma

Treasurer

Jocelyn W. Formsma is a member of Moose Cree First Nation and resides in Ottawa, Ontario. She was born and raised in Mushkegowuk territory (James Bay) in the Eastern side of Treaty #9 in Northern Ontario. Jocelyn completed both her Honours Bachelors of Social Sciences and Juris Doctor (JD) at the University of Ottawa. She has over 18 years of experience working with First Nations and Aboriginal organizations in the areas of social development, Indigenous children’s rights, law, media, youth engagement, and international advocacy.
 
Called to the Bar of Ontario, she worked as an Associate Lawyer with Nahwegahbow Corbiere Genoodmagijig Barristers and Solicitors until 2018. Jocelyn also volunteers as a board member of the National Indian Child Welfare Association (based in Portland, OR), founder of the Morningstar Fund and the Chairperson of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) Board of Directors. Ms. Formsma is currently the Executive Director of the National Association of Friendship Centres.

 

Naiomi Metallic

Naiomi Metallic

Member-at-large

Naiomi is from the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation in Gespe’gewa’gi.  Naiomi W. Metallic is an Assistant Professor at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, where she holds the Chancellor’s Chair in Aboriginal Law and Policy. She holds a BA (Dalhousie), an LLB (Dalhousie), an LLL (Ottawa) and an LLM (Osgoode).  She was also a law clerk to the Hon. Michel Bastarache of the Supreme Court of Canada in 2006-2007. 

Naiomi still continues to practice law with Burchells LLP in Halifax (where she practised for nearly a decade before joining the law school, primarily in the firm’s Aboriginal law group).  She has been named to the Best Lawyer in Canada® list in Aboriginal law since 2015 and was chosen for Canadian Lawyers’ Magazine 2018 Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in the area of Human Rights, Advocacy and Criminal law.  As a legal scholar, she is most interested in writing about how the law can be harnessed to promote the well-being and self-determination of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Alexandria (Ajay) Winterburn

Alexandria (Ajay) Winterburn

Member-at-large

Alexandria (Ajay) is Mohawk and Abenaki and from the turtle clan.

She received her JD from the University of Toronto, and her BA (hons) from the University of Alberta. Alexandria is an associate with Pape Salter Teillet LLP and specializes in Indigenous rights and Aboriginal law with a focus on issues including the duty to consult, negotiation and implementation of modern treaties and governance agreements, and partnerships between industry and Indigenous peoples. She is called to the bar in Ontario and Manitoba.

Victoria Perrie

Victoria Perrie

Member-at-large

Victoria Perrie (Wolf Clan) was raised in Ojibway tradition, is Swampy Cree and a member of the Red River Metis Nation.

Victoria received her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from the University of Manitoba.  She articled in New Brunswick and was called to that bar in 2019. Presently she works as a criminal lawyer with Nunavut Legal Aid (Kivalliq Legal Services) in Rankin Inlet. Victoria also works with international law and policy with a gendered lens.

Pam Watson

Pam Watson

Student Representative

Pam Watson is an nêhiyaw iskwew from the Chacachas First Nation and was raised on the Ohcapowace First Nation. Pam obtained a Bachelor of Indian Social Work from the First Nations University of Canada in 2006, and a Master’s Certificate in Public Management from the University of Regina in 2012. Before attending law school, Pam spent many years working for Indigenous communities across Canada. Pam is now attending the University of Saskatchewan and is in her first year of obtaining a Juris Doctor Degree.

Andre Bear

Andre Bear

Student Representative

Plains Cree (Nêhîyaw) from Treaty Six Territory; Andre Bear graduated with his Bachelors of Education degree at the University of Saskatchewan and is now pursing his Juris Doctor of Laws and Masters of Business Administration. He is the former youth representative of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and Co-Chair of the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council as well as Executive member.

In 2016, Andre was appointed as a Special Advisor to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Canada where he co-founded the Indigenous Youth Voices Network, for the full implementation of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 66. At 24 years old, Andre now works with Sunchild Law as a student while advocating for youth & Treaty & Inherent Rights. 

Anne Chalmers

Anne Chalmers

Administrative Support

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