Board Members

Shin Imai

SHIN IMAI[1]Shin Imai is a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University. He is currently  co-director of the Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governments. After he became a lawyer in 1980, Imai practiced in the areas of human rights, refugee law and Indigenous rights. He joined the Ministry of the Attorney General from 1989 to 1996 to work on the development of Alternative Dispute Resolution programs and to initiate justice project in Indigenous communities.  Imai’s publications include the Aboriginal Law Handbook (on Canadian Aboriginal law), “A Counter-pedagogy for Social Justice: Core Skills for Community-based Lawyering” (on clinical teaching)  and “Breaching Indigenous Law: Canadian Mining in Guatemala” with Ladan Mehranvar and Jennifer Sander  (on the Marlin Mine in San Marcos).

Angela D’Elia Decembrini

Angela is an Indigenous Rights Lawyer with First Peoples Law. Representing Indigenous groups in negotiations with all levels of government, her practice focuses on advising Indigenous clients across Canada on the Crown’s constitutional obligations to Indigenous Peoples. She also advises Indigenous clients in negotiations with the private sector to ensure that their Aboriginal title, rights and Treaty rights are respected and protected and that communities gain real benefits from any development taking place within their territories.  Prior to joining First Peoples Law, Angela worked with the Haida Nation on their Aboriginal title negotiations, and acted as both In-house Legal Counsel and General Counsel for the Nisga’a Nation.  Angela was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2004 and the Ontario Bar in 2015.

Leah Gardner

leah-whiteLeah Gardner graduated from the Faculty of Law at McGill University in 2016. Before starting law school, she worked as the Public Education Coordinator at a social justice non-profit in Montreal. Here, she led programs on topics like the Canadian extractive industry in Central America and international trade. As a human rights accompanier in Colombia, Leah worked with communities impacted by mining. She later returned to Colombia, and also Panama, as a legal intern focused on mining law and corporate accountability. Leah completed the Osgoode Hall Law School Intensive Semester in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governments in 2015.

Kate Gunn

Kate ButteryKate is a member of the British Columbia bar. She has practised in the areas of Aboriginal and environmental law, and has represented First Nations in Canada on a variety of issues including treaty land entitlement claims, the duty to consult and accommodate, and the protection of burial and cultural sites. Kate has conducted research in support of litigation related to the land rights of indigenous people in Central America, on historical issues surrounding Aboriginal title and inherent sovereignty in Canada, and on corporate responsibility mechanisms to hold Canadian corporations accountable for transnational human rights violations.  She is presently undertaking an LLM at the University of British Columbia on issues related to Indigenous jurisdiction in the context of resource development projects in Canada.

Charis Kamphuis

Charis KamphuisCharis is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law at Thompson Rivers University and a PhD Candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School. She clerked at the Federal Court of Appeal and was called to the Ontario bar in 2008. Charis has published in English and Spanish on legal issues of concern to mining-affected communities and on social justice issues more broadly. In 2013, Charis founded the Dissent, Democracy & the Law Editorial Board dedicated to publishing the on-line Voices-Voix Documentation Project.

Bernadette Maheandiran

Bernadette MaheandiranBernadette was called to the Ontario Bar in 2010 after serving as a judicial law clerk in the Central East Region of the Superior Court of Justice.  While completing her law degree at Osgoode Hall Law School, she spent a term with the Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Government including a placement in Chhattisgarh, India where she drafted a report on the conflicts arising from extractive industry activities in the area.  Bernadette completed her Masters in International Law at the University College of London. She has authored and co-authored a few articles on extractive industry accountability. She presently resides in Melbourne, Australia.