A member of our Aboriginal law group, Kim Stanton went to law school to understand how to use law to achieve social justice. She began her legal career with aspirations to work in international human rights law, but after stints in the Gaza Strip and West Africa she decided to return to Canada and focus her attentions on addressing human rights abuses at home.
After running her own constitutional and Aboriginal law practice in British Columbia, Kim went back to school to obtain a masters degree and a doctorate in law. Her doctoral dissertation considered the use of truth commissions and public inquiries in established democracies, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and lessons to be learned from the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry on the institutional design of public inquiries. After completing her doctorate, Kim returned to the practice of Indigenous rights law in Ontario.
From 2013 to 2017, Kim served as the Legal Director at the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). She focused on finding ways to address violence against Indigenous women and girls while leading the national equality rights organization to intervene before multiple appellate courts and the Supreme Court of Canada to advance equality rights in cases spanning topics such as Aboriginal law, criminal law, human rights law, socioeconomic rights, and reproductive justice. During her tenure, LEAF made significant contributions to discourses on judicial accountability, the law of consent, the treatment of social welfare recipients and the treatment of sexual assault survivors and Indigenous women in the criminal justice system.
Kim is a frequent speaker at legal conferences and has published in the areas of constitutional law, transitional justice and public inquiries. Her most recent article is in Osgoode Hall’s Journal of Law and Social Policy on the Supreme Court’s treatment of Aboriginal sovereignty, and past articles address topics that include the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the B.C. Missing Women Commission.
In addition to practicing as a lawyer, Kim is an adjudicator at the Ontario Health Professions Appeal and Review Board, and the Health Services Appeal and Review Board. As a member of the Minister of the Status of Women’s Advisory Council on the Federal Strategy Against Gender-based Violence, Kim continues to consult with policy makers and community members to advance equality rights.
When not working, Kim has charted her own course on remote sea kayak and cycling trips, and can also be found enjoying live music and the occasional jam session with her more musically talented friends.