Yellowknife has been my home since 2007. Career opportunities brought my geologist husband, Kevin, and me north, but it was the long summer nights canoeing and the warm sense of community that soon had us hooked. We are now raising our two children in one of the most unique cities in Canada. Living here gives us constant personal and professional opportunities: to run a small business, to be both in court and on my paddle board the same day, and to present a TEDx talk. I believe the NWT can be a leader in Canada’s future and I want to be part of a government that leads us there.
For five years, I ran my own criminal law practice traveling to communities across the NWT. In 2013, as my eldest turned one, I joined Dragon Toner Law Office and moved into general litigation. I work with individuals, businesses, non-profits and governments to find solutions to legal and policy problems.
As a dedicated community advocate, I have worked to advance the great ideas that are all around me. I have held executive positions at the Law Society NWT, NWT Montessori Society, NWT YWCA, NWT Chamber of Commerce and AVENS. I was also appointed to the Legal Aid Commission, the Income Support Appeal Committee and the City of Yellowknife’s Social Issues Committee. In 2017, I was honored to be one of the recipients of a national award celebrating Canadian Women in Law.
I was born and raised in Calgary by my hard working, first generation immigrant parents. As an adult, I met my biological birth family and was proud to discover that my paternal birth family are members of the Métis Nation of Alberta and we trace our ancestry to Louis Riel and the founding of the Red River settlement.
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Calgary (2000) majoring in Law and Society with a minor in Mandarin and a law degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2005).
During my leisure time I enjoy running, paddle boarding, cross country skiing and family game nights. I also cannot resist a dance floor.
In 2002 I went to law school with the belief that I could help me make the world a better place, maybe by working somewhere fancy like the UN.
As life goes, in 2007, my husband and I moved to Yellowknife on a “one year plan” that I’ve since learned is code for “we are going to raise our kids here and buy a boat.”
Soon after arriving I started traveling on circuit courts across the NWT. As a lawyer, my job involves listening to a client’s story and being ready to stand up for that story. I heard story after story about the impacts of the Indian Residential School system, of what happens when children witness violence, about the pain of addictions, poverty and heartbreaking trauma.
I soon realized that I am exactly where I need to be to make a positive impact on people’s lives and the community that is my home.
Not because I have all the answers. I don’t have all the answers.
But I can be a means to an end for my clients, for community organizations I work with and, I hope, for my community at large. I can be a means for those with the solutions to put those solutions into action.
Because I understand how to make government and justice processes effective. I know how to gather evidence to hold government accountable. And I know how to advocate for change.
That is a reason I am running to serve as MLA for Yellowknife South.