Board Members

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 has degrees in Common Law and Civil Law (2016), and International Development Studies (2007) from McGill University. In 2015, she completed the Osgoode Hall Law School Intensive Program in Indigenous Lands, Resources and Governments. She is a member of the Quebec and Ontario bar associations.
Leah has worked and interned at non-profit organizations and law firms in Canada and Latin America. In 2017-18, she was a Law Foundation of Ontario Public Interest Articling Fellow at the Canadian Centre for International Justice. She has written about transnational accountability in the extractive industry and works at the legal education organization Éducaloi.


Kate Gunn

Kate ButteryKate Gunn is a lawyer at First Peoples Law Corporation in Vancouver, BC. She represents Indigenous groups across Canada on environmental and constitutional law issues. She also holds an LLM from the University of British Columbia, where her research focused on the interpretation of treaties between Indigenous Peoples and the Crown.
Kate is committed to using the law and legal education as a vehicle to achieve positive social change, especially in relation to the long and challenging process of decolonization.


Shin Imai

SHIN IMAI[1]Shin is a professor emeritus at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University. He began practice at Keewaytinok Native Legal Services in Moosonee, then had a private practice for seven years focusing on immigration, human rights 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. From 1997 at Osgoode, Shin taught at the Parkdale Community Legal Clinic, the Intensive Program on Aboriginal Lands Resources and Governments, and a corporate-accountability focused course on business law.


Charis Kamphuis

Charis KamphuisCharis is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at Thompson Rivers University. She clerked at the Federal Court of Appeal and was called to the Ontario bar in 2008. In 2020 Charis obtained her PhD from Osgoode Hall Law School where she described her approach as activist engaged legal scholarship. Her research and advocacy engage multiple fields of law and policy that address resource extraction, Indigenous rights, human rights defenders, and corporate and state accountability. Charis supports JCAP by supervising law students across Canada and abroad, including at TRU, in her experiential learning seminar Transnational Lawyering: Social Justice, Communities and Resources.


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, and works at an environmental NGO focused on corporate accountability, Market Forces.