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The Law Society of Alberta has committed to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action in a thoughtful and collaborative way that builds and strengthens relationships with Indigenous peoples and communities. As part of this response, the Law Society has established the Indigenous Advisory Committee to collect feedback and input on the initiatives of the Law Society. This will advance the goals of truth and reconciliation, particularly surrounding access to justice for Indigenous peoples and cultural competency development for lawyers.
Katelynn is a Métis woman, born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. Katelynn completed her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology with distinction in 2013 at the University of Alberta, and earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Alberta in 2019. She is currently an associate at Akram Attia Law Office where she practices criminal defence. She completed her articles under Akram Attia and was admitted to the bar in June 2020.
During law school, Katelynn spent much of her time in executive roles with Student Legal Services of Edmonton (SLS) and the Indigenous Law Students Association (ILSA). She began volunteering with the SLS Criminal Law Project initially as a Caseworker, then as a Dayleader, and finally as one of the Coordinators in 2018. She held the roles of First Year Representative, President, and Vice President Internal while she was involved with ILSA. Katelynn is most proud of her work on the Law and Social Media Blog, Truth and ReconciliActionYEG, which lead to a published story in Avenue Magazine.
Prior to law school, Katelynn was employed by the Elizabeth Fry Society of Edmonton as the Provincial Prisons Liaison where she conducted workshops and provided support services to women who were incarcerated. She also worked as a Senior Judicial Clerk at the Court of Queen’s Bench Criminal Division for a total of three years. Her work experiences fueled her passion for advocacy and led her to her career in criminal law. Katelynn is passionate about advocacy and her goal is to help those in need, particularly Indigenous people and other marginalized groups who have been oppressed by the criminal justice system.
Eugene Creighton, Aakaota’si (Owns Many Horses), is a member of the Kainai/Blood Tribe, of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Eugene has many interests and one of his greatest passions has been his involvement in Rodeo. Eugene is also a proud co-founder of the Blood Reserve Rodeo Club, which was formed in 1978 to advance rodeo, riding, and social skills of the youth on the Blood Tribe Reserve. He has competed in several timed events and has a regional title in steer wrestling and team roping and has been a past qualifier in both events to the Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR) at the South Point in Las Vegas, NV. Eugene has been a Commissioner with the INFR since 2005. Eugene was inducted into the INFR Hall of Fame at the 2019 INFR held in Las Vegas.
His prestigious career in the law has spanned multiple decades, starting out as one of the first Indigenous officers in Alberta’s Native Justice & Correction Initiatives in 1970. Eugene enjoyed a decade of service with Alberta Correctional Services first as a correctional officer in Lethbridge, AB. and then as a probation officer and district supervisor for the Fort McLeod area before attending the University of Alberta for law school. Following his articles in 1986, Eugene became general counsel for the Blood Tribe until he joined Walsh LLP (then known as Walsh Wilkins LLP). The Firm approached Eugene in 1994 as a result of his particular expertise and involvement in first Nations Law as well as his reputation as an excellent lawyer in his own right. The Firm represented a number of First Nations and recognized that it was essential to have First Nations lawyers to guide other lawyers in actions that could have significant impact on First Nation’s across Canada. Eugene was the ideal candidate for that purpose.
In 1999, Eugene became a partner of the Firm and in 2002 the Firm’s name was changed to Walsh Wilkins Creighton LLP to reflect his contributions. In 2005, he was named Alberta’s Aboriginal Role Model for Justice. In 2007, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel. In 2009, Eugene was appointed to the Provincial Court of Alberta to serve as a Provincial Court Judge in Calgary Regional Criminal Division.
Throughout his career, Eugene has played an integral role in advocating for and developing support services for the Blood Tribe community. His contributions include assistance in developing the Tribal Justice system on the Blood Tribe Reserve, focused on incorporating Blood Tribe values and beliefs into adjudication and sentencing, building and being appointed as the first Chairperson of the Blood Tribe Police force in the mid-70’s, and introducing various programs to assist the individuals who would be in contact with police services on the reserve.
Eugene’s involvement in his community has extended beyond correctional policies and programs, including legal counsel to Blood Tribe Irrigation Project Inc. (BTAP) and its subsidiaries, one of Canada’s largest irrigation projects; assisting and advising in the expansion of the Blood Tribe Department of Health (BTDH) and its operations of its Continuing Care Centre on reserve land; the creation of Kainaiwa Children’s Services Corporation (KCSC) dedicated to child welfare; creating Kainai Board of Education and negotiating assumption of jurisdiction of education from Canada; legal counsel to Red Crow Community College; and numerous other initiatives and, generally, as counsel to the Blood Tribe Council and its Administration.
Walsh LLP is proud and honoured to have Eugene return to the firm following his retirement from the Bench in October 2019 as an advisor and mentor to young lawyers working with Indigenous people and First Nations.
Josh was called to the Bar of the Law Society of Alberta in 2014 and practices at Murray & Stadnyk Law in Edmonton, Alberta. Josh is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation located in north central Alberta.
Josh has a solicitor’s practice with a focus on Real Estate, Wills and Estates, and Corporate Commercial Law. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association Alberta Branch and is currently Co-Chair of the Real Property Law (North) Section.
In his spare time, Josh can be found hiking and camping in Alberta’s backcountry or on a dragonboat racing down the North Saskatchewan River.
Lynda is a member of the Fisher River Cree Nation, located in Manitoba. She was born and raised in both Northern Ontario and Calgary. Recognizing from a young age that much injustice is perpetrated upon Indigenous persons, she has dedicated her life to trying to mitigate the resultant damage to herself, her family, and her community at large.
She graduated from the University of Calgary in 1999, with a B.A. in Law and Society. She then continued her studies at the University of Windsor, attaining her L.L.B. in 2004. Throughout her university career, Lynda was actively engaged with various bodies whose focus was to further the needs of marginalized persons. She also worked with one of Windsor’s student legal clinics, and remained there to complete her articles. She was honoured to receive various awards, both for her past and expected contributions to the community at large and Indigenous persons in particular.
Lynda was called to the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2005, with the additional honour of being among the highest academic achievers of the province’s Bar Admission course. Shortly after her Call, she began her employment with Legal Aid Ontario. In January of 2006, as the second Gladue court in the country opened in North York, Toronto, Lynda became that court’s designated Gladue Duty Counsel. She remained in that position for nine years, until her move back to Alberta.
She was called to the Law Society of Alberta in 2014. For three years, she worked for Legal Aid Alberta as a Duty Counsel lawyer, serving Calgary’s regional courts. In 2018, Lynda joined Calgary’s Regional Prosecution Office, where she has been the designated Prosecutor for the Tsuut’ina Nation.
Katelyn is Métis (Cree and Saulteaux) with family that comes from Saskatchewan and Northern Alberta, currently residing in Treaty 7 territory since 1989 and is actively involved in the urban Indigenous community as well as ceremonial connections throughout Alberta. Throughout the past 20 years, Katelyn has been actively engaged in working with urban Indigenous peoples struggling with homelessness, addiction, intergenerational trauma and criminalization.
Katelyn is the Executive Director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary. She adapted the entire agency structure and policies to influence the work from an Indigenous worldview with a strong emphasis on healing and wellness from Indigenous ways of knowing and natural law.
Based on the overrepresentation of Indigenous women and youth in the criminal justice system, Katelyn is focused on decreasing the numbers of those incarcerated by empowering opportunities that contribute to better choices, healing and connections to culture and community.
Katelyn has been a member of the Aboriginal Standing Committee on Housing and Homelessness (ASCHH) since 2010 and has been a co-chair since 2013. During this time, she has helped to evolve a stronger structure and strategic direction, as well as engaged the committee in collective action on the issues of Indigenous homelessness and housing through projects and research.
Kane is Métis. He was born in Manning, Alberta and was raised in Southern Ontario with frequent trips back to Peace River country. Much of his family still resides in Northern Alberta and he maintains a connection to that area. This connection led him to return to Alberta to pursue his law degree at the University of Calgary after completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph.
Kane was called to the bar in 2011 after summering and articling with Alberta Justice. He started his legal career as a youth prosecutor in the Calgary Crown Prosecutors office and shortly after transitioned to a Crown in the newly formed CaRRRO regional prosecutions office in 2012. In 2013 Mr. Richard transitioned back to the Calgary prosecutions office in to the Domestic Violence Unit until moving to the File Ownership Unit in 2017.
Admitted to the Law Society of Alberta in 1994 and certified as a mediator by the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society in 1996, Harold has applied his legal and mediation/arbitration skills across a range of interests. This includes intergovernmental work with Aboriginal Relations, governance and business development and oversight with the Metis Settlements of Alberta, adjudication services for the Indian Residential School Claims Process and an assignment to the national roster of mediators for the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Harold Robinson is now the Commissioner of the Alberta Fair Practices Office (the FPO). Reporting to the Minister of Alberta Labour and Immigration, Harold oversees appeal, assurance, navigation and ombudsman-like services concerning the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Process.
Harold was born and raised in Edmonton. He is Métis (member of the Metis Nation of Alberta) and an active volunteer. Past and present roles include:
- Mediator, Edmonton Civil Mediation Project
- Trustee, Canadian Museum of Nature
- Director, Homeward Trust (Edmonton’s 10 year plan to end homelessness)
- Panelist, Belcourt Brosseau Métis Awards
- Member, Phoenix Multi-Faith Society for Harmony
- Mentor, Peter Lougheed Leadership College and U of A Faculty of Law
- Indigenous Advisory Panel Member, Alberta Law Society
- Board Member, Friends of the Royal Alberta Museum Society
- Coach, community soccer
Sarah Sinclair is a member of Peguis First Nation, Treaty One, Manitoba, and was born and raised on Mohkinstis. After attending law school at the University of British Columbia Sarah articled at Calgary Legal Guidance, Blain Law, and the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal. She was called in 2015 and worked in private practice at a boutique Aboriginal law firm, Eagle Law. In 2019 Sarah was hired as the first lawyer for Sahwoo mohkaak tsi ma taas, the Indigenous justice program at Calgary Legal Guidance, where she works now.
Sarah is a member of the Calgary Bach Society, a choir that focusses on Baroque music. She enjoys camping and pondering the disruption of colonial systems using Indigenous modes of thought and being.
Bob joined the Board in 2018 after a career that included an administrative and labour law practice. As part of his administrative law practice, he provided counsel to First Nation and Métis communities. Mr. Philp has significant adjudication background experience, including labour and human rights tribunals, and professional discipline proceedings. His litigation experience has seen him appear before all levels of court including the Supreme Court of Canada.
Bob was a Judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta for nearly 10 years and most recently served as the Chief Commissioner of the Alberta Human Rights Commission. He is a frequent lecturer at the University of Alberta Law School and is very active as a mentor to law students and young lawyers.
Donna earned a JD from the University of Saskatchewan in 1996 (MA in Sociology, U of S. 1993). She was admitted to the Law Society of Saskatchewan in 1997, practicing in Prince Albert (litigation, family and criminal law) with the Zatlyn Law Office and the Saskatchewan Legal Aid Commission. Donna was admitted to the Law Society of Alberta (2004) and practiced with several boutique firms focusing on advocating for predominantly Indigenous clientele.
In 2014, Donna transitioned in-house where she is now Legal Counsel for the practice management department with the Law Society of Alberta.